Andrew Bynum has slowly become the biggest name left on the NBA free-agent market. It’s not surprising, then, that the recovering big man is drawing his share of interest from teams needing help in the post.
Last season, Bynum sat on the sidelines, not playing a single minute for the Philadelphia 76ers after the team traded away a plethora of talent to get him.
Now, he’s leaving the team in much worse shape than when he arrived.
While the 76ers rebuild, other teams around the league are hoping to lure the talented big man to their respective towns. Buyers beware, though, as Bynum’s injury concerns and attitude issues may prevent him from ever reaching his vast potential.
Let’s take a look at the latest on which teams are actively pursuing the center as an option this summer.
On Sunday, the Cleveland Cavaliers emerged as legitimate suitors for Bynum’s services, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein. That’s especially true, he said, if Bynum is willing to sign a one-year deal with the club.
The Cavs have a nice, young nucleus of talent developing. Adding a former All-Star like the 25-year-old Bynum to the fold could potentially be a move that sends the team over the top and finally back to the playoffs—a place they haven’t sniffed since LeBron James’ "Decision" three summers ago.
If you’re Bynum, you have to see that potential. However, guaranteed money and long-term contracts on may win out in the end for the big man, as he is attempting to solidify his financial future in the process.
After missing out on Dwight Howard, it makes sense that the Dallas Mavericks would turn their sights on Bynum. The big man, when healthy, is arguably on or above Howard’s level as an interior presence.
That’s why ESPN's report by Stein and Tim MacMahon concerning the team’s pursuit of Bynum surprises very few around the league.
The Mavs could have the lead in the chase too, if Bynum checks out medically with the team’s staff. According to that ESPN report, the Mavs could be willing to consider offering a multi-year deal if, after their evaluation of Bynum, they feel he is worthy of such a contract.
Rounding out the group of potential suitors are the Atlanta Hawks. The team has been busy this offseason, losing Josh Smith to Detroit but bringing in free-agent forward Paul Millsap to fill the void.
The team is also pursuing free-agent shooting guard Monta Ellis, whom Stein labeled as the team’s priority ahead of Bynum this offseason.
If Atlanta could somehow swoop in and steal both Ellis and Bynum from the market, it would appear that GM Danny Ferry had an offseason plan in place after all.
Whatever ends up happening for the Hawks this summer, they’re going to be a vastly different team next season than in seasons of the past. Whether that’s a good or bad thing remains to be seen.