At age 26 and with still years before he reaches his prime, Andrew Bynum is left without a team.
The seven-foot and 285 lbs. behemoth who was once regarded as the NBA’s second best center next to Dwight Howard, is longing for a team that needs his services.
The Cleveland Cavaliers traded Bynum in exchange for Chicago’s talented and defensive small forward Luol Deng. The Bulls got in return first and second round picks for 2015 and 2016 NBA drafts and then waived Bynum saving Chicago more than $20 million and a leeway from paying the NBA’s luxury tax.
Andrew signing with the Cavaliers, this season could have been a pivotal change to his once famed career. Nobody really wanted to deal with an immature player with surgically repaired legs. But the Cavs took the risked and signed Bynum to a two year 24 million contract.
There were red flags all over. The Lakers dealt him to a four-man trade to Philadelphia last 2011; he was advised to rest his legs after undergoing Orthokine treatment. He was told to keep out from basketball activities for three weeks to avoid discomfort on his legs. Instead, Bynum re-injured his left knee while bowling. The result ended with Philadelphia paying $16.1 million to Bynum that year and losing their all-star player Andre Iguodala via trade and Bynum (due to free agency) eventually for nothing.
The chance to play again for a franchise (Cavaliers) struggling to find its identity could have been monumental for Andrew. Instead he got suspended indefinitely last December for conduct detrimental to the team.
He could still be useful for other teams, his talent is unquestionable. But we all know talent alone can’t sustain an NBA career. (Remember the days of Allen Iverson and Stephon Marbury.)
Bynum still has a chance. Remember the 2010 NBA championship when he sustained a knee injury in the series, and he played throughout and the Lakers won that series.
He can still be that someone willing to sacrifice everything to the team.
Cleveland waited for that Andrew Bynum that played in the 2010 NBA championship. They stretched their patience knowing that they could have made the biggest steal in franchise history.
It never happened…
At 26 and with years till he reaches his prime, the bright and once future of Andrew Bynum is slowly dimming.
You can’t really teach maturity.
Somehow he had to learn that lesson the hard way.