Andrew Bynum Would Be Ideal Signing for Struggling Miami Heat

Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent IJanuary 16, 2014

Dec 17, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers center Andrew Bynum (21) drives against Portland Trail Blazers center Joel Freeland (19) in the fourth quarter at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

With the Miami Heat struggling not only to rebound, but to win games this January, the two-time reigning NBA champions would be wise to consider signing free-agent center Andrew Bynum.

According to the Sun Sentinel's Shandel Richardson, team president Pat Riley isn't so fond of the idea of bringing in the unpredictable big man:

There will be a tremendous amount of research. We’ll meet for two days on personnel and on things of that nature and stuff but there’s nothing going on at all. There’s nothing happening at all with that (Bynum) situation.

Riley called the Bynum rumors "speculation" and appears determined to look elsewhere for a boost.

Still, there's no denying that Bynum would bolster Miami's lackluster front line, which currently ranks dead last in the NBA in rebounds per game, averaging just over 36 per contest. And only the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers are being out-rebounded by a larger margin in 2013-14.

The Bynum rumors began swirling following Jan. 15's three-team trade that saw Miami unload veteran center Joel Anthony in an effort to free up their finances, as Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today reported.

Although Bynum was disappointing in 24 appearances with the Cleveland Cavaliers earlier this season, his rebounding prowess would make him an ideal fit in South Beach.

He averaged 5.3 rebounds in 20 minutes per game with the Cavaliers before being traded to Chicago and subsequently waived. However, for his NBA career, the 26-year-old is averaging close to eight boards in under 26 minutes per game.

CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 7: Andrew Bynum #21 of the Cleveland Cavaliers grabs a rebound against the Los Angeles Clippers at The Quicken Loans Arena on December 7, 2013 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downl
David Liam Kyle/Getty Images

Plus, the uncertainly surrounding Greg Oden's health and ability to contribute on the glass night in and night out makes Bynum an even more attractive option. Oden made his long-awaited debut in Jan. 15's blowout loss at Washington, but he only grabbed two rebounds in eight minutes off the bench. 

While Oden's return to NBA action is heartwarming, it's unlikely to make much of a difference for the Heat on the boards. Meanwhile, despite his character issues, Bynum has proven to be the more durable of the two big men and without question the more productive.

In addition to his rebounding prowess, Bynum is averaging 11.5 points per game on 56 percent shooting for his NBA career and is an above-average low-post scorer. 

But with Miami's Big Three leading the way offensively, Bynum could focus on providing the Heat with a forceful presence on the glass. His massive 7-foot frame and long arms allow him to effectively block out opposing bigs and track down balls that guys like Chris Andersen, Udonis Haslem and Michael Beasley rarely get to.

There's certainly plenty that could go wrong for the Heat by signing Bynum. But with Miami fading to start the new year and its top Eastern Conference nemesis, the Indiana Pacers, boasting one of the NBA's most physical squads, adding Bynum at this point in the season would be worth the risk.


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