As we’ve been told, the Cleveland Cavaliers will “kick the tires” on Andrew Bynum. I know that Chris Grant likes to explore every option. That’s fine. Having done some car shopping recently, I know I kicked the tires on plenty of cars I had no intention to buy. It’s just part of the game.
Chris Grant needs to kick the tires and then walk away from this one.
I really don’t have much concern that Bynum will end up a Cavalier. My gut feeling, which was backed by this piece from Bob Finnan, is that Bynum still wants to be paid like an elite center, and will demand a multi-year deal.
“It would be a major shock if the Cavs anted up for Bynum, who could be angling for a maximum contract. Portland, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston and Golden State are other teams that might have interest in Bynum. Many of those teams, as well as the Los Angeles Lakers, also would like to sign Dwight Howard.”
I know that Bynum supporters will argue that “when healthy his IS one of the top centers in the league”. All well and good. Hey, I’d take the guy that averaged 15 points, 8 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game in ’09-’10 too. Of course, that season Bynum played in 65 of the Lakers 82 games. Honestly, if you could guarantee 65 games from Bynum I might sign up for that action.
The problem I have with this argument is that he is never healthy. Oh, except right now:
Just in time for free agency, it looks like Andrew Bynum is set to hit the court. In an interview with Dan Gelston of the Associated Press, Bynum’s agent David Lee said his client is done with the rehabilitation from season-ending knee surgery and is set to begin basketball workouts next week.
Lee added that there isn’t a “concern in the world” that Bynum won’t be ready for training camp when the season begins in the fall.
Yep. He’s 100% ready to go right before owners get ready to break out the free agency checkbooks.
Of course, he never played a minute for the 76ers, the team that traded for him last offseason. As Craig’s post earlier pointed out, Bynum kept delaying and delaying when he was supposed to take the court for Philly. From the start of the season, to December, to February, to March, to “well it doesn’t make sense for me to risk a set back”. You stay classy Bynum. Keep dancing.
Aside from being legitimately hurt way too often for a guy expecting a max contract, I have issues bringing in a guy that isn’t exactly known for his locker room leadership shall we say?
Even the players that like Bynum seem to have a hard time justifying having him on the team. Take Jrue Holiday’s comments from this May. After praising Bynum for being an all around awesome dude, Holiday was pressed about bringing him back.
“I’d love him to… obviously, if he’s healthy. If he’s healthy I think he’s the best big in the league, but like I said it’s tricky because of the knee injuries,” Holiday said. “They actually haven’t talked to me about [whether or not Bynum should return] so I don’t know. Again, it’s a tricky situation because of his knees, his injuries. You can’t really make the decision just yet.”
I will tell you who does know. Julius Irving. Ask Dr. J what he thinks of Bynum:
“The net result is Robert Parish’s old number-00. We have not benefited one degree… I guess he has.”
Watch that whole video of Irving’s comments. No way he wants Bynum on his team.
What really cracks me up is that anyone in Cleveland would want to see the Cavs lock this guy up for multiple years. I’ve even seen comments that the Cavs need to overspend to bring Bynum in. OVERSPEND? I hear you on the Cleveland isn’t exactly an ideal free agent destination argument. But Bynum is not the guy you overspend on.
We’ve been having the debate about trading Varejao for about three years now. Yes, he also has a terrible time staying healthy. Is his ceiling the same as Bynum’s? Nope. If both were 100% healthy, Bynum is a better offensive player and can guard the bigger centers in the NBA better. But they aren’t 100% healthy. Neither of them. And I’ve never questioned Andy’s heart, hustle or desire. I’d rather overpay for Varejao than Bynum.
If Bynum played in the NFL, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. Teams wouldn’t be lining up to give him a max deal and multiple years. They would make him play on a minimum deal and prove that he was healthy enough to deserve more money and more years. But this is the NBA, and someone is going to open up the purse and start throwing money at Andrew.
Then there is this news today:
Bynum's people will provide medical records and MRI results, but the player will not work out for interested teams. Huge risk, huge reward.
— Scott @ WFNY (@WFNYScott) July 1, 2013
Walk away Chris Grant, just turn and walk away.