NBA Draft Profile: Andrew Bynum
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St. Joseph's (Metuchen, N.J.)
Center, 7-0, 300
Strengths: Bynum's biggest strength is genetics. As in, he's huge. At a legit 7-foot and 300 pounds, he has the kind of size that NBA scouts drool over. Thanks to his size, he's able to clear out space in the paint and score on high-percentage shots, a la Shaq. But for as big and burly as he is, Bynum is actually surprisingly athletic and mobile. Nobody's going to mistake him for Kobe Bryant, but he isn't just a big stiff, either. He also has a 7-foot-3 wingspan, which makes him an excellent shot-blocker and rebounder. Bynum compares favorably to Washington Wizards starting center Brendan Haywood, which could either be a strength or a weakness depending on your perspective.
Weaknesses: He's still very raw offensively and probably not ready to make an immediate impact in the NBA despite his size. Put it this way: Although he's a bit bigger, he's not as far along offensively at this stage in his career as the Celtics' Kendrick Perkins was when he was drafted out of high school two years ago. And despite having good athleticism for his size, there's no way Bynum will be able to keep up with some of today's more agile big men like Amare Stoudemire or Tim Duncan. Despite his potential, he's still a project at this point in NBA terms.
The Lowdown: Bynum is one of the most intriguing prospects in the draft because of his sheer size. But keep in mind that with the possible exception of Eddy Curry, lumbering big men haven't had much success making the preps-to-pros jump. And even Curry took years to finally show signs of life. Bynum hasn't hired an agent and is still trying to decide whether to pull out of the draft by the June 21 withdrawal deadline and attend UConn. He's not expected to make that decision until the last minute and is still working out for teams and trying to get feedback on where he's projected to go. Right now he's a definite first-round pick, but his decision could come down to whether he'll go in the top half of the first round or not. He's projected as a mid-to-late first-rounder at this point, but that could improve with some good workouts over the next few days. This is a situation that will be interesting to watch right down to the wire.