NBA Trade Rumors: Andrew Bynum Would Offer Cavs Quickest Path to Contention

Alex BallentineFeatured ColumnistJuly 14, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 19:  Andrew Bynum #17 of the Los Angeles Lakers dunks the ball over Kendrick Perkins #5 of the Oklahoma City Thunder in the third quarter in Game Four of the Western Conference Semifinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on May 19 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Should the Cleveland Cavaliers be able to swing a deal that lands them Andrew Bynum, they would automatically become contenders in the Eastern Conference for years to come.

The possibility of adding Bynum in a three-team blockbuster that would include Dwight Howard has been brought up by Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld:

Three-team deal may send Dwight Howard to Lakers, Andrew Bynum to Cavs and picks/prospects/cap relief to Magic. Still trying to get details.

— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) July 14, 2012

Obviously a lot of details need to be worked out before this trade can be fully assessed, but any trade that would allow the Cavaliers to pair up Kyrie Irving with Bynum is an offer that the Cavs should seriously consider.

The Cavs have taken some great steps toward building a contender in the post-LeBron era, but adding a piece like Bynum could erase a few more years of rebuilding. With one of the league's premier big men and a soon-to-be elite point guard at the helm, the Cavs would boast a one-two punch that few teams could match.

Bynum, 24, really came into his own last season and posted career-highs in nearly every statistical category—averaging 18.7 ppg and 11.8 rpg in 60 starts for the Lakers.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, Bynum has listed the Cavs as a team with which he would be willing to sign a long-term deal, should he leave the Lakers when is current contract expires:

Among Bynum's short list of potential free agent landing spots in 2013, Houston is prominent with Dallas and Cleveland, sources tell Y!

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 8, 2012

The loss of draft picks and prospects may not have been in the Cavs' current plan to build a contender, but the opportunity to add a franchise big man like Bynum doesn't come along often, and the Cavs must pull the trigger if the opportunity presents itself to acquire the center.

Bynum's primary concerns (health and attitude) shouldn't be an issue. He missed only six games this season, and with the Cavs the short list of teams he would like to play for, his attitude should improve.

If the Cavs want to compete at a high level now, Bynum is clearly their best opportunity.