SIXERS GM TONY DiLEO ON FUTURE: "WE HAVE PLAN A. ... PLAN A IS FOR ANDREW"
“We have Plan A,” DiLeo said Friday, at the team's practice facility.
The Sixers, DiLeo admitted, could have done more to solidify this season's roster. He said he and the front office “talked with every team.” He said they were listening to all inquiries. And the only move with which the Sixers felt comfortable was a minor move with Golden State for guard Charles Jenkins in exchange for a protected second-round draft pick.
The reason? Plan A.
“Plan A is for Andrew,” DiLeo said.
The Sixers are pinning their hopes for the rest of this season, and their long-range hopes for the seasons ahead, on Andrew Bynum – a guy who has not played a single minute for the Sixers. Bynum said last week he's still at least one-to-two weeks away from ramping up his rehab to the point where he's practicing with the team. For now, he's doing 1-on-0 workouts while strengthening his balky knees.
The Sixers “have a lot of questions,” DiLeo said, “and we don't have a lot of answers right now.” If Bynum was to play for the Sixers, who have 30 games remaining this season, DiLeo said it would be enough to gauge whether the team should pursue him next season.
“If we can get our complete team out and see how it looks, get some answers, evaluate all of our players and in the summer, we can make some decisions,” DiLeo said. “We do have flexibility in the summer. We have a lot of free agents. We have a lot of good, young players. We have an All-Star point guard that we can build around and we have young players. We have a lot of options.”
And one of them is Bynum, an unrestricted free agent after this season. Because the Sixers are unable to negotiate with Bynum until the end of the season, there are no assurances he will be around beyond this season.
“That's why we made the trade,” DiLeo said. “It's hard in the NBA. There are maybe a handful of players that can move the needle, as they say. Andrew is one of those players that can move the needle, he can make a big difference. Our goal is to be a contending team and we want to be the best team we can be. That's why we took the risk, and it was a calculated risk. There are a few players that can do that, and when they become available, we go after them. Just like at trade deadline, we don't always get them, but that's our goal. We're always active in the market. We try to bring in the best players we can.”