NBA

Indiana Pacers Reportedly Have 'Exploratory' Interest in Signing Andrew Bynum

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 4:  Andrew Bynum #21 of the Cleveland Cavaliers warms up before the game against the Minnesota Timberwolves at The Quicken Loans Arena on November 4, 2013 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2013 NBAE (Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Dan FavaleFeatured ColumnistJanuary 12, 2014

Andrew Bynum may be blue-collar, gold-swagger material.

Per ESPN's Marc Stein, the Indiana Pacers have considered making a run at the free-agent big man:

Their interest is somewhat unexpected. 

Though the Pacers could use someone other than the underwhelming Ian Mahinmi to back up Roy Hibbert, Bynum doesn't fit their traditional mold.

Could Bynum be a good fit on Pacers?
Could Bynum be a good fit on Pacers?Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Eastern Conference's best team prides itself on selflessness and relatively drama-free dominance, two prerequisites Bynum doesn't even begin to meet. Recurrent injuries coupled with alleged lethargy and detrimental attitude displays should make him the anti-Pacer.

But a team like the Pacers—stable, cohesive and battle-tested—may also be able to wage such a risk.

Bynum won't command a multi-year deal worth more than the minimum if he signs in Indy, diminishing potential severity behind an investment gone wrong. It's also not difficult to see how Bynum would fit in from a stylistic standpoint, as a seven-footer who can score in the post and protect the rim almost as well as Hibbert himself.

Other teams, however, are expected to give chase.

Upon officially being waived by the Chicago Bulls, ESPN's Chris Broussard said the race for Bynum consisted of more contingents than we initially thought:

Among those teams are the Los Angeles Clippers, who, depending on the report, are either interested or indifferent to the idea of signing Bynum, according to the Los Angeles Times' Brad Turner:

The Dallas Morning News' Eddie Sefko writes that the Dallas Mavericks are another team potentially registering interest in Bynum.

"It’s not to say we wouldn’t consider him," Mavs owner Mark Cuban said, per Sefko. "But we’ll look at everybody and make a determination. Any free agent, we can only offer them the minimum.”

Stein also added the New York Knicks and Miami Heat to the fray, while eliminating prospective suitors like the Brooklyn Nets, Atlanta Hawks and Oklahoma City Thunder.

All this purported interest is elaborate and has slowed the process of Bynum finding a new home. With so many teams possibly preparing bids—or even identical offers—Bynum will have to narrow down his list of potential destinations, then ultimately pick one.

Could he elect to chase a championship with the Heat, Pacers or Clippers? Join the habitual madness in New York? Bring his dwindling talents to Dallas? Sign with a dark horse currently lurking in the shadows?

Staying tuned is the only way we'll find out.

 

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