It's safe to say the Andrew Bynum experiment in Cleveland has officially failed.
The former All-Star center showed a few flashes of his 2011-12 self, but he hasn't been able to put together consistent production in his first season with the Cavaliers, averaging just 8.4 points on a dreadful 41.9 percent shooting to go with 5.3 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 20.0 minutes per contest.
Beyond the numbers, though, he has shown a lack of interest and hustle, and on Dec. 28, he was hit with an indefinite suspension by the team.
The Cavs' official website has the news:
Cavaliers center Andrew Bynum has been suspended for conduct detrimental to the team, Cavaliers General Manager Chris Grant announced today. Bynum did not travel with the team to Boston last night for the team's game this afternoon at 1:00 p.m. vs. the Celtics and has been excused from all team activities indefinitely. His status will be updated as appropriate.
As far as the reason behind the suspension, Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski provides some telling reported details:
Cavs believe Bynum has been "disruptive" presence within team and lost hope partnership can be salvaged, league sources tell Yahoo.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) December 28, 2013
About Bynum suspension, league source tells Yahoo: "He doesn't want to play basketball anymore. He never liked it that much in first place."— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) December 28, 2013
The optimal situation for the Cavs here would be to trade the disgruntled big man, obviously. But when you have a player with a history of injury problems who reportedly "doesn't want to play basketball anymore," it's a little difficult to find a whole lot of takers.
In fact, according to Fox Sports Ohio's Sam Amico, there are precisely zero takers, and the Cavs instead plan to release Bynum:
The 26-year-old is owed just $6 million of his $12.25 million this season if he is released before Jan. 7, so as the Cavs look to save some money, you can expect a move to be made fairly soon.
USA Today's Sam Amick provides some details on teams that may or may not be interested should Cleveland eventually send Bynum packing:
No surprise, but I'm told the Clippers would have interest in Andrew Bynum if he's released. Final $6 mil of his deal guaranteed Jan. 7.— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) December 28, 2013
I'm told the Nets have zero interest RT @Speechless35: Do you think would be interested in picking up Bynum in wake of losing Brook Lopez?”— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) December 28, 2013
Los Angeles is certainly an intriguing potential destination for the former Lakers star.
Who will Andrew Bynum be playing for at the end of this season?
Not only would the move make sense for the Clips, who are currently 20-11, in the middle of the NBA West race and in need of frontcourt depth behind Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, but it would also seemingly be beneficial to Bynum, who could use the tutelage of guys like Doc Rivers and Chris Paul.
That being said, as someone with questionable desire, he still brings with him a significant amount of risk.
Nevertheless, seven-foot centers who average 15.1 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per 36 minutes—no matter the package they come in—will continue to draw interest in the NBA.
The same will go for Bynum in the coming weeks.