Lakers Rumors: Does Andrew Bynum Deserve to Be Cast off to Cleveland?
While the rumored blockbuster three-way deal that would send center Dwight Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers, Andrew Bynum to the Cleveland Cavaliers and a bevy of assets or draft picks to the Orlando Magic has yet to pick up any true steam, that hasn't stopped a bevy of tongue-in-cheek jabs about Bynum being exiled to Ohio.
The always great Not Bill Walton chimed in with a caption contest. I'd post some of the results, but we here at Bleacher Report try to keep it PG.
Is Cleveland a cursed sports city?
But laced in that humor is the deep-rooted theory that Cleveland is a cursed sports city. From "The Drive" to "The Decision" and everywhere in between, there are stories of Cleveland sports on the cusp of greatness only to have their hearts ripped out.
And because of Cleveland's status in the sports community, it's led some to wonder whether the 24-year-old all-star center deserves a hypothetical Northern Ohio sendoff from the beautiful Los Angeles.
In a word, the answer is yes.
First of all, the Lakers organization should do any and everything humanly possible to put the team in a position to win championships. If that involves trading Bynum to the Nestle factory for a box of Raisinettes you do it, let alone the most physically dominating center in the league.
Also, I hate to break it to you every disenchanted fan of bad franchises, but there are no such things as curses. Organizations that don't win championships are either consistently run into the ground by bad management or catch a few unlucky breaks.
Trust me, as a Clippers fan, I would love to blame some mystical being on my franchise's consistent abject failure. But the organization's failures lie on Donald Sterling for being a bad, penny-pinching owner and Elgin Baylor for being completely incompetent for 22 years.
The Cavaliers may have the most petulant owner in basketball right now in Dan Gilbert, but he's a man who invested heavily to try to build a winning team in Cleveland when LeBron James was in town.
And while his passion may cause some foot-in-mouth moments, at least he isn't a press box owner who sees his team as little more than a novelty item and tax write-off.
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
Sending Bynum to Cleveland would not be any sort of punishment but an opportunity for him to shine as an alpha dog. As anyone who watched the Lakers play last season knows, there were many times when Bynum, not Kobe Bryant, was the team's best player on the floor.
But, until Bryant retires, the center will always have a shadow lurking over him in Los Angeles—much like Kobe did with Shaquille O'Neal.
According to a report by Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, the Cavs are on Bynum's shortlist, along with the Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks, should he be traded or is unable to agree to an extension with the Lakers.
I'm going to assume that sending Bynum to a team on his wish list and pairing him with potential stars—point guard Kyrie Irving and shooting guard Dion Waiters—wouldn't be too much of an inconvenience for the big man.
Sure, being a Cleveland Cavalier will never be as glamorous as being a Los Angeles Laker. The franchise's history is among the richest in sports, and the immediate future is bright with the Lakers' acquisition of Steve Nash.
But, to say a player doesn't deserve to be sent to another franchise is an insult to that city and its fans. If Bynum can realize the potential brewing in Cleveland, then so should everyone else.
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