Collins: Bynum 'might be best low-post center'

Sixers coach Doug Collins talks to his former player Andre Iguodala before the U.S. plays Argentina. (Photo by Phil Sheridan)

LONDON -- Sixers coach Doug Collins was broadcasting the Olympic semifinal between Spain and Russia when it became official. The NBA office had approved the stunning four-team deal that brings center Andrew Bynum to Philadelphia.

To say Collins was happy would be understating it. The only possible negative is that he has to wait a couple months to get his radically rebuilt team on a basketball court.

Collins had a lot to say. Here's some quick hits. There will be more in The Inquirer and here on tomorrow.

On big changes after a good season: "I thought it was incredible what our guys did. I thought we maxed out our time. For us to take the next step, we were going to have to make some changes. One of the keys one was having to amnesty Elton (Brand). It was the only way to get any flexibility. I think a lot of people felt like we were doing all these things for salary cap room next year, but we had in our sights, could we get in the (mix) for Andrew Bynum. He might be the best low-post center in the NBA. You can throw the ball into him, he can score, he can defend, he can rebound. He's from New Jersey and I think he was looking forward to coming back East."

On the impact: "We think we've gotten bigger on the front line. We're more athletic. We're bigger on the perimeter, we've added shooting. All the things we set out to do, we think we've done that. Miami is still obivously the class of the East, but we think we can line up and play with most teams now."

How it came together: "We had three teams that we locked in to doing it. But Orlando was looking for a home for Dre. At the last minute, Denver came into the picture to be the fourth team. For them to move Dre and get Aflalo and Harrington was the thing that really pushed it over the top and got them to do the deal."

On being aggressive: "The thing I love is our owner has been very, very committed to making things happen. Amnestying EB was a big thing. You have to be realistic when a team is maxed out and make changes. Josh Harris and I always talk about intelligent risk. His business is built on intelligent risks, and we think we've taken a lot of intelligent risks.

On the departure of Andre Iguodala, traded to Denver: "We're going to miss Dre. The thing I'm happy for Dre about -- the last two years, he finished on an uptick. What he did to help us win, the Chicago game where he goes the length of the floor and makes to free throws to put us into the next round, the way he defended (against Boston in the second round). I wish Dre well. He's been on a world championship team, he's been on the all-defensive team, he's been an All-Star, he has a chance to win a gold medal. The two years I've known him, good things have happened for him."

On Iguodala's reaction: "I'm going to talk to him before the (U.S.-Argentina semifinal) game here. My son Chris saw him in the hotel today. He said, `Dad, he's fine. He was in good spirits.' We had to wait until it went through. The conference call just went through. I'm going to thank Dre for everything and wish him well. It's interesting how things work. I believe we open up with Denver."

On getting a dominant center: "You've got to have a good big man. You have to be able to throw that ball in the post."