Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
This morning it was reported that Andrew Bynum, the former 2x NBA Champion with the Lakers, had been suspended by the Cleveland Cavaliers “indefinitely” for conduct detrimental to the team. It seems as if Bynum has little interest in playing basketball. See the below tweet from the incomparable Adrian Wojnarowski.
The Cavs would like to get out from the Bynum contract before it becomes guaranteed on January 7th.
While Bynum may not have a ton of interest in playing basketball any more, teams still value his services and he will be a hot commodity, especially if he is released by the Cavaliers. NBA teams aren’t going to use assets to acquire a player like Andrew Bynum when they know he is most likely going to be released by Cleveland.
The only scenario in which Bynum would be traded by the Cavs would be if the acquiring team could get out from one of its own bad contracts (i.e. The Celtics trading Kris Humphries or Gerald Wallace to Cleveland for Bynum).This is not a likely scenario. However, it looks as if a fair amount of potential playoff teams are going to have interest in Bynum if he is released by the Cavs. One of those teams, not surprisingly, is the Los Angeles Clippers.
It was just yesterday that I wrote about the Clippers need for a 3rd big man. Andrew Bynum, despite his lack of interest in basketball, is still a serviceable big man. This year he is averaging 8.4 PPG and 5.3 Rebounds in 20 minutes a night. We mentioned that the Clippers needed to add a big man who would be able to protect the rim, space the floor and shoot free throws. Bynum might not be able to space the floor in crunch time; however, he is a pretty good rim protector (you can’t teach 7’0) and is shooting 76.2% from the charity stripe this year and is a 69% career FT shooter.
The biggest problem with Bynum, other than his attitude towards the game, is his injury history. So the questions is should the Clippers pursue Andrew Bynum if he is released by the Cleveland Cavaliers? There is obviously risk in signing Bynum at this point. He is a shell of his former self and is only shooting 42% from the field this season, which is even worse when compared to his career field goal percentage of 56%.
Bynum is apparently not interested in really working on his game any more and might just be playing basketball for the paycheck at this point. He can be a nightmare for team chemistry and nothing about his work ethic is appealing. It seems like I’m leaning toward advising the Clippers not to pursue Bynum, right?
WRONG! When you’re as close as the Clippers are to being a legitimate NBA Finals contender you have to take some calculated risks along the way. I believe that having a guy like Chris Paul in the locker room would be great for Andrew Bynum, as would having Doc Rivers as a Head Coach. I believe that the Clippers would be a perfect fit for Bynum and he would thrive being back in Los Angeles, a place he clearly feels comfortable. Bynum is the 3rd big man that the Clippers desperately need and they would be wise to try and sign him if he becomes available.