The Cavs’ (Not So) Big Andrew Bynum Gamble

Prior to the 2012-13 season, the Los Angeles Lakers needed to make a huge deal to acquire Dwight Howard, which meant that their prized center, Andrew Bynum, was very, very expendable. Rumors swirled that one of the potential partners in the three-way deal necessary to make the trade possible were the Cleveland Cavaliers.

That scenario never happened, and Bynum was sent to the Philadelphia 76ers, who agreed to put the remaining pieces together to send Howard from Orlando to Los Angeles. At the time, there were plenty of grumbles about how Cavs general manager Chris Grant didn’t pull the trigger on a trade.

However, as the season unfurled, it turned out that Grant, who has become well-know for pulling Jedi mind tricks in order to made deals that could slowly but surely put Cleveland back on the right track, was absolutely right in not wanting anything to do with Bynum.

That’s because, of course, that Bynum ended up sitting out the entire season with knew problems, making headlines more for his hair styles instead.

Despite his issues, when the Sixer happily parted ways with Bynum, teams still came calling. And again, the Cavaliers were on deck, only this time, it would be a free and clear deal that would only cost them cap space. The re-hiring of coach Mike Brown, who also coached Bynum during the 2011-12 season, seemed to help a great deal, and Cleveland brought the big man aboard.

On the surface, a two-year, $24 million deal would appear to be overpaying quite a bit for a player with knee issues. However, it continues to be worth noting that the deal is heavily incentive-laden. If Bynum doesn’t pan out, for whatever reason, the Cavs will only be out $6 million.

The new deal looks like it would be a perfect match. The addition of Bynum allows Anderson Varejao to spend less time at center and, as a result, would relieve him of the type of wear and tear he’s been getting because of taking a beating in the post. Moreover, Bynum get the opportunity for some redemption on what has previously been thought to be a promising career.


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