In related news, Dorell Wright and Andrew Bynum are new teammates on the Sixers. That said, here's what he told John Mitchell of the Philly Inquirer:
“He’s going to need two defenders to stop him; I would say he’s the best big man in the NBA right now, hands down,” said Wright, speaking at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. “He’s a guy that can give you baskets with his back to the basket; a guy who makes free throws at 7-feet. You’ve just got to respect him.”
At that point I interjected, asking him if he calls Bynum the best big man in the league because they are now on the same team. Or could it be because Howard is on the mend from back surgery?
“No way, I’d say it any day. It’s because I know he can put his back to the basket and give us a basket and request a double team and make free throws,” Wright continued. “It’s his all-around game. Hopefully he can stay healthy and we can ride, he can put us on his back and he can take us as far as we can go.”
Like most, I believe a healthy Dwight Howard is unquestionably better than Bynum, and more importantly is a better fit with a Steve Nash-directed offense. Still, you'd expect Wright to pump up his guy, just like Metta World Peace called Bynum the best center in basketball until the Lakers flipped him for Howard.
While there are likely to be some growing pains as Bynum adjusts to being a true first option offensively -- remember, playing that role over seven games last season for an injured Kobe Bryant, Bynum shot under 50 percent -- overall he should thrive if he can stay healthy. He'll be energized by the increased responsibility in ways he never would or could have in L.A. Hopefully, too, he'll begin to understand all the ancillary stuff that goes along with being a franchise player, and his more nonsensical moments on and off the floor won't recur.
And if he does all that, despite the backflips most Lakers fans turned when the trade was announced, Bynum exists as a massive reminder, literally and figuratively, of the risk absorbed by the Buss family and Mitch Kupchak in making the deal. Meaning until all the boxes are ticked -- Howard returns from injury, Howard returns to dominant form, Howard looks like a great fit now and going forward, Howard re-signs with the Lakers at the end of the year -- that little hint of nervousness won't go away.
(H/T: Ball Don't Lie)