Look, nobody is going to get out of this clean. Collins, general manager Tony DiLeo and owner Josh Harris boarded the "Bytanic" together and they all go down together - "if" it does ultimately reach its watery grave.
I know. I know. What do you mean "if," Smallwood? It's clear by now that this Bynum fiasco is the biggest the Sixers have pulled off since they traded Moses Malone for Jeff Ruland and the No. 1 overall pick for Roy Hinson on the same dreadful draft night in 1986.
Well, actually, it's not - at least not yet. Despite all of the evidence to the contrary, there is a slight sliver of light that the Sixers can barely see at the end of a long and dark tunnel.
The 25-year-old Bynum and his geriatric knees could get better - not in time to salvage this mess of a season, but certainly in time for the Sixers to still come out OK in this trade over the next 3 years.
Yeah, I know. I know. What have you been smoking, Smallwood? How much are the Sixers paying you to keep promoting this Bynum propaganda?
Well, first there is no propaganda to promote. At this stage, I can't think of a single Sixers fan who could be duped into believing that this Bynum thing is going to still work in favor of the Sixers.
But the truth is that hope in Bynum's recovery is the only thing the Sixers have.
For all the talk about the Sixers having a Plan B in case the Bynum thing crapped out, unless it involves signing Dwight Howard as a free agent, Plan B will come up well short of what they were hoping to get from Plan A.
Free agency is a crapshoot and there will be a lot of teams with cap space this summer. Besides, with the exception of Howard, there will be no bigger impact free agent available than Bynum - bad knees and all.
There are names - Utah's Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap, Atlanta's Josh Smith, Minnesota's Nikola Pekovic - but none will be as good as a healthy Bynum.
The Sixers swallowed the red pill, and now, just like in "The Matrix," there is no turning back. It goes against all logic, but unless Bynum's knees are so bad that he simply cannot be medically cleared, the Sixers have to do whatever they can do to re-sign him.
The Sixers surrendered the equivalent of four first-round picks to acquire Bynum. You can't just walk away from that; not when rebuilding has become virtually impossible.
A free-agent signing and a lottery-protected first-round pick do not equate to a healthy Bynum.
The funny thing is that despite Bynum's pariah status, this could work to the Sixers' advantage.
In 1996-97, Spurs star David Robinson played just six games and they finished 20-62. But San Antonio won the lottery, drafted Tim Duncan No. 1 to team with a healthy Robinson, and went on to win four NBA titles.
If the Sixers miss the playoffs - all indications are that they will - they keep the first-round pick they traded to Orlando in the Bynum deal.
Here is the ideal plan for the Sixers - assuming Bynum is healthy:
With the lottery pick, take the best big player available: Cody Zeller (Indiana), Nerlens Noel (Kentucky), Mason Plumlee (Duke) or Alex Len (Maryland) would be a nice fit. In free agency, sign someone who can score and isn't afraid to drive to the basket and get fouled. And finally, re-sign Bynum.
Obviously, that's the biggest gamble. But even then, it's a matter of perspective.
Some team, more likely several teams, are going to look at Bynum and take a chance that his knees are going to be OK for the 2013-14 season. The Sixers are going to have to be ready to outbid those teams. It's not going to cost them the $100 million-plus it might have had Bynum played a full season, made the All-Star team and led the Sixers deep into the playoffs. But it won't be cheap, either.
Ideally, with a dose of realism, you sign Bynum to a 3-year deal - giving him enough money to stay but protecting yourself long term in case it blows up again.
It's easy to say you should just cut ties to Bynum until you realize what that truly means to this franchise. The Sixers went all-in on the trade for Bynum. They staked the next 4 to 5 years to keeping him long term.
That was their path out of the wilderness of mediocrity. If the Bynum thing doesn't work, what you see now is what it's going to be for at least the 3-5 years.
One lost season isn't enough of a reason to give up on Bynum, not when you've already invested so much in him.
As crazy as it may sound, getting Bynum healthy and keeping him in Philadelphia is the only way the Sixers can possibly recover from this mess.