Philadelphia 76ers President Rod Thorn Opens Up on the Bynum-Howard Deal, Says Philly Was Originally Shooting for Howard

August 13, 2012 – 7:00 am by Brad Gagnon

The Philadelphia 76ers were part of the NBA’s blockbuster trade of the summer when they, the Magic, the Lakers and the Nuggets got together Friday to consummate a deal that sent Andre Iguodala out of Philly and brought Andrew Bynum to town.

Philadelphia 76ers president Rod Thorn joined Mike Missanelli on 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia to discuss the Andrew Bynum trade. Thorn was frank about the state of his team prior to the trade, the state of his team after the trade and the possibility of Philly signing Bynum to a long-term contract extension.

On how they pulled off the trade for Andrew Bynum:

“It’s interesting in that we’ve been talking to the Lakers and to Orlando for the last three weeks. We’ve been talking about different deals, various deals, and it never got out. In today’s world that’s something of itself. And then it really came down to, Orlando — they did not want to keep Iguodala because they’re going in a different way. And they wanted to move him, and so they talked to a few teams and they ended up making the deal with Denver to move his contract, and that ended up making the deal. It took a while to do it but it ended up getting done.”

On if they started talking to the Magic regarding Howard:

“Initially we were talking to Orlando about Dwight Howard. That’s how it got started. And so we had conversations with them regarding him and then he wanted to go either to Brooklyn or to Los Angeles. And so the Lakers, they had been in the conversation before we were in there. And so I can’t tell you how many different conversations, and it ended up the way it ended up today.”

On the trade working out well for all parties:

“I think there was some ill feeling between Orlando and, obviously, Howard. And Brooklyn had made a bunch of offers and I think that’s where he wanted really to go. Was the number one choice. But if I look at the trade, Mike, I think the Lakers obviously, they got Howard, he’s considered to be the number one center in the league. So they did fine. We got Bynum, who’s considered to be the number two center in the league. Denver got Iguodala, didn’t have to give up much. So it’s good for them. And with Orlando you won’t know for a couple years, Mike, because they’re dependant on these young players.”

On the team having a ceiling prior to this trade:

“We ended up having a really successful year and we ended up going to the second round of the playoffs. And as we sat down, as all teams do, and you assess where you are, where you want to go. Our feeling was that with the group we had we’d gone as far as we could go. They achieved as much as they possibly could. Obviously they have a great coach in Doug (Collins) and he got everything out of our locker room that we could possibly get. So do we stay where we are and may or may not be a playoff team or do we try to change it around? We’ve been fortunate, Mike, in the last couple of years to get some assets. And when you have assets and game-changing players become available, you have a chance. And because we had some assets, we were able to get in the game and over the course of those three weeks we were able to make the trade.”

On the potential for a long-term extension for Bynum in Philadelphia:

“Over the course of the season, if he’s happy and he’s healthy, we’ll certainly do everything we can do re-sign him. And we certainly are in the driver’s seat because we can give him an extra year and obviously more money. But to me, if he’s happy, he’s going to want to sign here. So I think it was a risk, anything you do there’s a risk. But if you’re going to take a risk, always take it on somebody who could be a special player.”

Listen to Rod Thorn on 97.5 The Fanatic here

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