Editor’s Note: This article is a rebuttal to, and inspired by, SB Nation’s Hot Hot Hoops article “3 reasons why the Miami Heat must sign Andrew Bynum”.
Yes, there was a time when Andrew Bynum was, arguably, the best center in the NBA. But that time has come and passed – almost in a blink of an eye. If you blinked – which I assume most of his critics did – you would’ve missed it.
Enough of that flashback, but let’s fast-forward a few years and Bynum is now the best free agent that –almost – every team doesn’t want. However, at the same time, for a few teams, he could end up being the difference between fishing in late May/early June and showering in champagne with the Larry O’Brien – right, Chris Bosh?
With that said, here are three reasons why the Miami Heat have no business even thinking about signing Andrew Bynum mid-season. Maybe before the season I would’ve been onboard, but not right now.
Let’s be real for a minute. If the Miami Heat were going to lose because of their one weakness – size – they would’ve lost already. The only playoff series they’ve lost, during the Big Three era, was against the Dallas Mavericks and that was more of what they didn’t do than more of what the Mavs did do. If size were going to do them in, they would’ve lost to the Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, the Indiana Pacers or even the San Antonio Spurs by now. They didn’t and they won’t lose solely because of that going forward. Let’s be real.
If they lose, it’s going to be because Paul George outplays LeBron James. That’s it. Not because of how many points Roy Hibbert gets or how much they are outrebounded by or any of that. It’ll be because of George’s progression into a superstar.
Greg Oden is a plus, nothing less and nothing more
Anything that Greg Oden offers is a plus and a bonus. If you think the Heat expected Oden to consistently contribute at all this season, you’re wrong. In front of the camera, yes, the Heat will say it’s a process and that they hope Oden can contribute come May or June but, in all honesty, I believe that the Heat just thought the reward of Oden (the what-if) outweighed the risk. It was a pressure-less chance that the Heat took. It may pay off, it might not. But it might not even matter.
The Heat beat the Pacers and Spurs last season without Oden and, if needed, could beat them this season too. And again, if they fall short, it won’t be because of Oden’s health.
At this point in the Big Three era, now is not the time to screw around with this team’s chemistry. The only reason that this team has not fallen apart is because of just that – this team genuinely loves to play with each other. If even there’s a small chance that Bynum could ruin that, the Heat shouldn’t even think about taking that chance.
Sure, Bynum could end up changing the dynamics of a team, but that’s certainly not the case for the Miami Heat. The Heat has the best player in the world and you think that a disgruntled poor work ethic seven-footer is going to change the landscape of the Eastern Conference? No way.
If the Heat decides to take a chance on Bynum, the risk just might outweigh the reward.
At least in this case.