Lakers Rumors: LA Would Be Foolish to Give Bynum a Max Deal
The Los Angeles Lakers must resist the urge to sign Andrew Bynum to an extension that would give him a max contract, and with the recent rumors floating out about Dwight Howard, that urge will be tougher to resist.
It has been no secret that the Lakers have been trying hard to orchestrate a trade that will land them Howard. Any trade that will accomplish that will undoubtedly have to involve Bynum. However, this trade may no longer be much of a possibility.
With Howard's availability slipping away, the Lakers will undoubtedly turn their attention to locking up the center position by extending Bynum's contract, which would keep him from hitting the free-agent market at the end of the season.
ESPN's Dave McMenamin and Ramona Shelburne back up that notion.
If a Howard trade isn't feasible, the Lakers would quickly turn their attention to resuming extension talks with Bynum.
Should the Lakers extend Bynum to a max deal?
They also go on to highlight what it would take to extend Bynum.
[The Lakers are] well aware that there will not be much wiggle room once the negotiations begin; Bynum will expect a max contract extension.
You can't blame Bymum for these expectations. As one of the league's premier centers, he should have no problem finding several teams that will offer him a max deal. However, that doesn't make it a wise move for L.A.
Yes, Bynum is coming off of an impressive season where he averaged 18.7 points and 11.8 rebounds per game. Even more impressive was the good health he enjoyed. Prior to last year, Bynum had missed at least 17 regular season games in every season since his second year in the league in 2006-07.
Still, one healthy season does not mean Bynum's knees are not a ticking time bomb. This right there makes a max deal a risky proposition, but that is not even the biggest reason L.A. should avoid that deal.
That would be because Bynum is not the kind of player the Lakers want to be the face of their franchise going forward.
Bynum comes off with a severely apathetic attitude towards basketball. By all appearances, his on-court performance seems to suffer terribly when he is unhappy with something going within the organization.
It has been a constant battle to get Bynum to focus on his defense, and he continues to show boggling mental lapses on the court.
This was wildly apparent in last year's playoffs. Bynum had some outstanding games, but he also had far too many lapses and moments where he was blatantly out-hustled. In the Lakers' season-ending series against the Thunder, Bynum hit for 16.6 points and 9.4 rebounds per game. That was a series where the Lakers' only real hope for success was dominance in the frontcourt, and Bynum was not up to the challenge.
Don't get me wrong, Bynum is full of potential. He could be a dominant force in the game for a decade. However, there are just too many question marks, and his poor attitude make this a gamble not worth taking.
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