Bynum will have to earn fantasy trust

March, 19, 2013

The Philadelphia 76ers announced at halftime of Monday's game that Andrew Bynum will undergo surgery on both of his knees and, as had long been expected, miss the remainder of the season.

"After many months of rehabilitation and consulting with numerous doctors, Andrew and the doctors treating him determined that this is the best course of action at this point," 76ers general manager Tony DiLeo said. "We will continue to monitor and evaluate his status moving forward."

Moving forward is going to be tricky for both Bynum and the Sixers, because we simply don't know what to expect from the oft-injured big man, who didn't play in even one game this season. The exact nature of his surgery is not clear, but he will have to prove himself healthy this summer in order to warrant a new contract as an unrestricted free agent.

It seems likely that he may have to sign a one-year deal or an incentive-laden contract to show that he still has a future in the NBA. At this point, there is little reason for fantasy teams to hold onto the big fella as a keeper for next season. And unless he looks close to 100 percent next fall, he should be an afterthought in your 2013-14 drafts.

Looking Back

IMPORTANT: ESPN received a very late stat correction from the Elias Sports Bureau that awarded three points to Damian Lillard for the game the Portland Trail Blazers played against the Memphis Grizzlies on March 12. Since that game fell within our stat correction window and standard league playoffs started with Monday's games, we re-ran the league standings Monday rather than wait until Tuesday morning. This stat change may have altered some playoff matchups and/or seedings.

• Even though the Boston Celtics lost to the Miami Heat Monday, Jeff Green absolutely went off. He ended up with 43 points (14-21 FG, 10-13 FT), 5 3s, 7 boards, 2 assists, 2 steals and 4 blocks. He has been relatively inconsistent for the C's this season, primarily working off the bench, but this is the kind of all-around fantasy upside we can expect from Green when he plays full starter's minutes. There is a pretty good chance that his role will increase dramatically next season, depending on how the Celtics handle their offseason roster moves.

Wilson Chandler is in a similar situation to Green, because Chandler also needs significant minutes and touches to make serious fantasy noise. On Monday, he played a season-high 39 minutes and torched the Chicago Bulls for 35 points (13-21 FG, 8-9 FT), 9 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals. Of course, he has proved to be inconsistent in his bench role, as he scored in single digits three times in his previous six outings.

Nate Robinson is another example of a guy who needs big minutes to produce. He went off for 34 points (13-22 FG), 6 3s and 7 assists Monday. However, he turned the rock over seven times, and it appears that Derrick Rose could reclaim his starting PG job any day now. So ride Robinson while he is hot.

Looking Ahead

Ricky Rubio left Monday's game with about 15 minutes remaining due to a groin injury and did not return. He said afterward that he could have played, but coach Rick Adelman didn't want to risk it. The Minnesota Timberwolves have a couple of days off before they play again Thursday in Sacramento, so it sounds like he should be good to go, though you'll want to check for updates.

Kobe Bryant sat out another game Monday due to his sprained ankle. However, coach Mike D'Antoni said "knowing Kobe," he will "probably" return to action Thursday against the Washington Wizards. However, since they don't play again until Monday, it's entirely possible that he will skip Thursday's game and aim to be back closer to full strength next week.

• Both Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler remained sidelined Monday. Anthony hopes to return soon, but time will tell whether he'll be ready for Wednesday's game with the Orlando Magic. Things appear a little sketchier for Chandler, though, as he will undergo an MRI on his troublesome neck on Tuesday. Clearly, the New York Knicks need him as healthy as possible for the postseason, so, depending on what the MRI reveals, they may not rush him back. Look for Kenyon Martin to continue starting in Chandler's stead, though he offers only modest fantasy upside.

• A sprained lower back kept David West from playing on Monday. Tyler Hansbrough started in place of West and had a solid outing with 18 points (6-12 FG, 6-7 FT) and 11 rebounds, though he literally failed to contribute another stat. It's unclear if West will be ready for Tuesday's game versus the Orlando Magic, but Hansbrough should be able to chip in some scoring and rebounding if West sits again.

Fastbreak Player of the Night

There are quite a few quality options across the board Wednesday with a full slate of NBA games. That includes Tim Duncan against the Golden State Warriors. However, I like the idea of using Nikola Vucevic against the Knicks as my Fastbreak center. I'm assuming that Chandler won't play, which means that Vuce will have an easier go of it in the paint against old-timer Martin. Vucevic is coming off a couple of big Fastbreak games, scoring 32 and 29 points.



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