CineSport—The Philadelphia 76ers introduced Andrew Bynum and Jason Richardson to the public on Monday. Both players were acquired in a four-team blockbuster NBA deal that sent Dwight Howard to the Lakers.
The Sixers have just acquired a shiny new toy to play with in Andrew Bynum, and are excited for this upcoming season and the future of the team. The Sixers haven’t had a star like this since Allen Iverson, and in order to make sure that Bynum is a Sixer long-term, they should look at how the other teams in Philadelphia have been able to attract star players.
Last offseason the Eagles showed that they could attract top free agents. They were able to get CB Nnamdi Asomugha, DT Cullen Jenkins, RB Ronnie Brown, DE Jason Babin and backup QB Vince Young, who infamously declared the Eagles a “dream team.” Andy Reid has also attracted some of the top position coaches in OL Coach Howard Mudd, and DL Coach Jim Washburn.
The Flyers have never had a problem attracting star players. Over the past decade, the Flyers have attracted the likes of Peter Forsberg, Danny Briere and Chris Pronger, who signed an extension to finish his career as a Flyer after they traded for him. Recently, the Flyers were able to sign Ilya Bryzgalov, the top goaltender on the market in 2011, and were the team of choice for Jaromir Jagr over his old teams.
The Phillies’ organization has been a popular destination for top free agents in the last five years. They were one of the few teams that Roy Halladay was willing to wave his no-trade clause for when he was leaving the Blue Jays. They also were able to sign Cliff Lee for less than other teams offered, even though they traded him the year before.
This past year, Jimmy Rollins re-signed in the offseason, and the Phillies were able to sign All-Star closer Jonathan Papelbon. Near the trade deadline, Cole Hamels gave up the opportunity to be the top free agent pitcher on the market by re-signing with the team.
These three teams have attracted star players by winning and establishing that they are well-run organizations. Bynum will help the Sixers win games, which covers the first part. The second part can be accomplished by the Sixers’ own organization looking at the other local teams in the area and using them as models.
Stable, smart organizations which take care of their own players are organizations that players want to be a part of. Structuring themselves in such a way is why the Eagles, Phillies and Flyers have been so successful. If the Sixers emulate those teams, signing Bynum long-term will be a much easier task.