Part two was supposed to be more about the NBA’s latest movement in the offseason, so if you haven’t read part one just click here. Anyways I decided to do this article entirely about Andrew Bynum’s signing with the Cleveland Cavaliers, earning him a possible $24.5 million two-year contract. Andrew will have a guaranteed $6 million this season and with an incentive of another $6 million if he has reasonable playing time and games played. Then the Cavaliers will hold an option for the 2014-2015 season for $12.5 million. Pairing him with Kyrie Irving then signing key players such as Jarret Jack, Earl Clark and drafting Anthony Bennett, it looks like GM Chris Grant has done well on paper. This could be the perfect recipe to lure Lebron James back into Cleveland.
Imagine seeing this again with Bynum at the middle…
Well let’s go back last season. Dwight Howard was the most coveted center in the NBA, and Bynum was widely regarded as the second-best. If the Cavs signed Andrew last season they will have to pay $16.8 million for nothing. They have always wanted Bynum and now it falls into their lap ending up with less cash to spend.
Andrew like any great centers always wanted a point guard who could pass and make timely decisions on the team. When the Lakers got Ramon Sessions, Bynum’s numbers increased as he averaged about 20 points per game. Given that Kyrie Irving who is a notch higher than Sessions, the duo could seriously wrecked havoc in the NBA next season. However there are always two sides in a coin. There is an underlining reason why Bynum’s stock dropped.
The answer lies on Andrew’s legs. This was also the reason why the Orlando Magic refused to get his services aside from his upcoming free agent status.
One week before training camp in Philadelphia, Andrew went on an Orthokine treatments on both his knees to heal his arthritis. Then he went bowling and injured his left knee again. His knees got worsened and he was out indefinitely. And when everything was expecting Bynum’s Philly debut, he had to undergo a season-ending athroscopic surgery on both knees ending all hopes and anticipation. Aside from his maturity, Andrew is carrying a red flag to teams that wanted to get his services. The fact that he refused to work out on prospective teams, means he is hiding something. Regardless of whatever reasons, his knees will always be a major problem.
If you google every injury prone player in the NBA you would see a good number of centers, from Ralph Sampson, Bill Walton to Yao Ming. It’s because centers are usually susceptible to knee injuries.
So the question is… is Andrew Bynum worth the risk? At 25 years old he can still be dominant in the NBA, and with just $6 million guaranteed contract this season there won’t be any problem.
Let’s just wish Cleveland doesn’t have enough Bowling centers.