The 25-year-old Bynum, acquired as part of a blockbuster deal that sent Dwight Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers, is scheduled to have arthroscopic surgery on Tuesday, according to multiple media outlets. Dr. David Altchek of the Hospital of Special Surgery in New York will perform Bynum’s operation.
“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,” general manager Tony DiLeo said Monday night in a statement. “We will continue to monitor and evaluate his status moving forward.”
Bynum, who is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent after this season, was shut down even before he could put on a 76ers jersey. The Sixers initially shut down the former All-Star during training camp with the aspirations that he would be ready for the season opener on Oct. 31, which didn’t happened. But Bynum has vowed since training camp that he would play this season.
However, after a 5-on-5 scrimmage last month, Bynum experienced swelling in his right knee. The swelling caused him to waive the yellow flag and admit to reporters that a return for this season may not be possible.
The trade for Bynum has been a complete disaster for the 76ers, who acquired him from the Los Angeles Lakers as part of a four-team trade, so the Lakers could receive Dwight Howard. Philadelphia sent Andre Iguodala to Denver and rookies Moe Harkless and Nikola Vucevic to Orlando. Bynum was expected to help bolster the 76ers frontcourt and make them a viable contender in the Eastern Conference.
But without Bynum, the Sixers have dropped to 26-40 a year after reaching the Eastern Conference semifinals last year.
“I feel like everybody’s been worried about Andrew the whole season,” Sixers All-Star guard Jrue Holiday said. “It’s like, all right, let my man breathe. I guess right now he’s going through a tough time. I’m just praying for him and hoping everything’s OK.”
In seven seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers, Bynum helped the Lakers win two NBA titles. He was coming off his best season in 2011-12 since entering the NBA. He averaged career highs with 18.7 points and 11.8 rebounds, which helped him make his first All-Star team and start for the West.
“I think being healthy is more important than everything else,” Bynum told the media on March 1. “If I am healthy, I’ll get a deal. I have to be able to play and I need to get to the point with my body where I’m able to play, however long that takes.”