After acquiring Dwight Howard in the blockbuster deal that sent Andrew Bynum to the Philadelphia 76ers, the consensus around the league was that the Los Angeles Lakers had vastly improved their roster with a player that will potentially lead the team into the post Kobe Bryant era. Even though the Lakers added Howard to an already upgraded roster and were considered legitimate NBA title contenders as a result, the 76ers also brought in a considerable upgrade with Bynum.
As of result of the 76ers turning over a new leaf with Bynum added into the mix, head coach Doug Collins is already getting excited about the possibilities moving forward. Philadelphia may have sent Andre Igoudala to the Denver Nuggets and let Lou Williams walk in free agency, but it would hard to argue that they haven’t improved with Bynum and the addition of Jason Richardson.
With the new-look 76ers forced to play a different style of basketball with Bynum in the paint, Collins will be experimenting with last year’s center, Spencer Hawes, by shifting him over to power forward.
Reportedly, Collins wants Hawes to turn into the 76ers’ version of Pau Gasol alongside Bynum as he made clear in an interview with Max Rapport of NBA.com:
“I want (Hawes) to play the Pau Gasol role with Bynum,” Collins said. “Both (Hawes and Gasol) like to play out on the perimeter because they can shoot the ball and are very good passers.”
The move to shift Hawes over to a Gasol-like role makes perfect sense. There’s no question that Gasol is the more talented player in comparison to Hawes, but the veteran big man might be able to have a breakout year with the new role next season.
Last season, Hawes averaged 9.6 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game. Those numbers may greatly increase next season with the 76ers’ frontcourt given a boost with Bynum and supporting two seven-footers.
It remains to be seen whether or not this will work next season, but the formula worked well in Los Angeles and may have similar results in Philadelphia.
Make sure to check out today’s edition of Let’s Be Honest – starring Pritesh Shah!