Note: this guest post appears courtesy of staff at Fantasy Basketball Money Leagues.
The Indiana Pacers do have much size and bulk inside. They do have one of the best centers in the league in Roy Hibbert, a very capable veteran power forward in David West, and two solid big men backups in Ian Mahinmi and Luis Scola.
Ok, Mahinmi might not have the quality Frank Vogel would desire, and Scola is starting to show his age, but nonetheless this backup duo is certainly better than the big men duos of about half the teams around the league. Especially in the Eastern Conference. Scola and Mahinmi could easily be starters on many NBA teams. So why would the Indiana Pacers even consider signing Andrew Bynum? And what will he offer to the team?
Don’t get tricked here. Larry Bird knew when he presented the Pacers’ offer to Bynum that the 7-foot former All-Star center might not be able to play a single minute this season. Doesn’t make sense, right?
Well, it does.
Teams, especially the ones that are going after a championship, true champions if you like, need much more than just good players to bring home the Larry O’Brien trophy. So even if Andrew Bynum has a small impact in the Pacers’ on court performance, his acquisition might have a deeper value to the team than what initially meets the eye. An essential factor in any team’s course is mentality.
The Pacers want the championship badly this season. Not just the 15 players of the roster, but the entire organization, from the front office, to the coaching staff, to the towel guys mopping the Bankers Life Fieldhouse’s court, to all the fans. And they have to take every little step in the direction of coming closer to it. They have to pay attention to every close detail. That may be the only way to avoid a devastating elimination from LeBron James and the two time defending champion Miami Heat. Let’s be real here, the Pacers brought in Bynum just so the Heat wouldn’t sign the big man.
Andrew Bynum’s acquisition is a step towards this direction. The Pacers gave a message to the NBA world, but also to the inside of the team. A message that states: “We are doing everything we can to bring home the trophy.” The entire season has been like that for the Pacers.
Andrew Bynum has reportedly not even practiced since the time he was traded away by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Fantasy-wise, he has very low to almost no value. Given his limited playing time whenever he takes the floor and an as yet uncertain debut date, fantasy owners would be wise to stay away from Bynum despite the ‘name brand’ transaction.
In 24 games up to now in the season, the 7-foot center has averaged 8.4 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 1.2 BLKPG and while shooting 41 percent from the field. These numbers, of course, are below his career averages. It’s true that if he started to appear in games with the Pacers and averaged similar numbers to the above, he could be considered as a low-cost option at center. Nonetheless, it’s highly likely that Bynum might not suit up for a game in the next weeks or months, so fantasy basketball owners should avoid him.
Larry Bird stated that the team won’t rush his return, but even if he does come back soon, the 7-footer might not see many minutes. If he can provide 10-15 quality minutes in Frank Vogel’s rotation during the playoffs, the Indiana Pacers would be really happy. Apart from that, don’t expect him to make much of a difference in the Pacers playing style.