Where Does Andrew Bynum Rank Among NBA’s Top Centers?

Andrew Bynum may be one of the most talented true centers to enter the NBA in some time, but it's hard to tell because so far his brief career has been defined by injuries.

When the Los Angeles Lakers selected Bynum with the 10th pick of the 2005 draft, general manager Mitch Kupchak envisioned a player in the mold of Kareem-Abdul-Jabbar, but that hasn't been the case.

Kareem has instilled his knowledge of the game in Bynum, and the youngster is blessed with plenty of fundamental talent, but his body has not been a willing participant in Bynum's quest to be a great center.

It may seem like Bynum has been around forever, but some people forget he was the youngest player ever to appear in a NBA regular season game. During his brief periods of health, Bynum has shown flashes of his potential.

I stress brief, because out of a possible 410 NBA games Bynum has appeared in only 278, and his 10 points and 6.7 rebounds per game during the course of his career would likely be higher if he were healthy.

Bynum played in 65 regular season games during the 2009-10 season and averaged 15 points and 8.3 rebounds per game, while shooting an astounding 57 percent from the floor.

Before falling victim to yet another knee injury in the postseason, Bynum had established himself as a pivotal member of the Lakers, and his ability to play through the pain of a torn meniscus may have been the difference in the Lakers' second consecutive championship.

Bynum's ability to recover from this latest knee injury is as important as ever, because combined with Pau Gasol, Bynum is one half of the NBA's best front line, and the strength of the Lakers' team.

Some observers would be hesitant to place Bynum among the NBA's elite centers because he is injury-prone, but considering the shallow pool of talent at the position, it's a hard argument to make.

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