Andrew Bynum Rumors: Dallas Mavericks Reportedly Pursuing Polarizing Center

Steven CookFeatured Columnist IVJuly 6, 2013

The Dallas Mavericks have shifted their efforts toward landing another All-Star center in Andrew Bynum after missing out on the Dwight Howard sweepstakes.

According to Tim MacMahon and Marc Stein of ESPN, Dallas has its eye on the polarizing Philadelphia 76ers big man as it looks to recover from failing in its efforts to land Howard. 

The Mavs will proceed with caution due to the knee condition that caused the 7-foot, 285-pound Bynum to miss all of his lone season with the Philadelphia 76ers, the sources said. 

The evaluation process of the 25-year-old Bynum's problematic knees will be "exhaustive," according to the sources.

The Mavs consider their medical staff, headlined by Team USA athletic trainer Casey Smith and Dr. T.O. Souryal, to be the best in the league. The medical staff, which played a significant role in getting Tyson Chandler's career back on track after two injury-riddled seasons, could be a recruiting asset in the pursuit of Bynum.

This news comes hours after Stein confirmed the Mavs' interest in the injury-riddled star center on Twitter:

According to the ESPN report, the most that Dallas can offer Bynum without any additional moves would be a four-year, $45 million deal. 

Bynum emerged as one of the league's best centers with the Los Angeles Lakers, although recurring knee problems kept us from seeing his full potential, and he seemed to always get hurt at the wrong time. 

That was the case until the 2011-12 season. In his last season with the Lakers, Bynum averaged 18.7 points and 11.8 rebounds per game while starting 60 of the season's 66 games in the lockout-shortened campaign. He finally produced the consistency and the output that warranted being called an elite center and a potential franchise player.

After that emergence, he was dealt to the 76ers in the blockbuster trade that sent Howard to L.A. and Andre Iguodala to Denver. However, he didn't suit up for a single regular-season game in Philadelphia, and those calling for Bynum as their new franchise player would soon regret those statements as injuries prevented him from stepping foot on the court. 

Now, teams that have any sort of interest in the unpredictable big man are filled with concern as to whether he'll stay healthy long enough to make the impact he's capable of making. Though, agent David Lee told Dan Gelston of The Associated Press there's "not a concern in the world" that Bynum will be ready come training camp. 

Fresh off seemingly years of courting D12 in moves that proved unsuccessful, the Mavs are unquestionably interested in filling the hole at center that has proved troublesome ever since the departure of Tyson Chandler in 2011. 

If healthy, Bynum may be the best player for his value in the free-agency market. But he's the definition of a hit-or-miss candidate, and any team—even Dallas—will cover all of the bases before putting an offer on the table for the talented big man.