They just picked up Bynum's $16.1 million player option, but he has yet to sign an extension. This process is not about recovering from another second-round playoff loss to battle again next year.
It's about building for the next 10.
Bynum did all he could for the Lakers and his own trade value in 2012. The seven-year veteran averaged career highs in nearly every meaningful category. Most importantly, he stayed healthy for the vast majority of the season.
As the second-best center in an NBA largely devoid of premier pivots, Bynum has entered the prime of his career at the ripe young age of 24.
Sure, he has trouble even acting that age at times, but nearly every franchise would love to have this guy. There aren't a lot who could afford him though, and that's how the Lakers like it.
Bynum should be the future. Yet, with few attractive trade options beyond Pau Gasol, and the team unwilling to discuss any scenario involving Kobe Bryant, the Lakers may have to sell high to buy.
Pau Gasol may have all the buzz, but Andrew Bynum has the higher trade value; the Los Angeles Lakers don't have to push the panic button with these options.