Former Lakers center Andrew Bynum could be on move after suspension
Former Lakers center Andrew Bynum has been suspended by the Cleveland Cavaliers for “conduct detrimental to the team” and it’s likely the Cavs will attempt to trade him or simply cut him in a money-saving move.
The Cavaliers announced Saturday morning that Bynum “has been excused from all team activities indefinitely.”
Bynum contributed to two Lakers championships but struggled with chronic knee injuries.
Instead of re-signing the 7-footer to a long-term deal, the Lakers dealt Bynum to the Philadelphia 76ers in 2012 before his contract expired. In the trade the Lakers received Dwight Howard, who has since moved on to the Houston Rockets after an injury-plagued 2012-13 season.
Bynum didn’t play a single game for the Sixers while rehabbing his knees last season.
The Cavaliers signed him to a unique contract this last summer, giving him $12.25 million for the current season, of which only $6 million is guaranteed. Bynum also has a second, non-guaranteed year on his deal at $12.54 million.
Cleveland can cut Bynum so that he clears waivers by Jan. 10, owing him only the $6 million. The team can also try to trade him.
If another team acquires Bynum before the January deadline, they too can cut him for salary cap relief and perhaps trade a larger, unwanted contract to the Cavaliers.
Of course, a team might covet Bynum’s potential, despite his questionable knees and a questionable attitude. After all, the Miami Heat signed former Portland Trail Blazers bust Greg Oden last off-season.
There isn’t an obvious reason for the Lakers to deal for Bynum. Pau Gasol is in the final year of his contract, and may be someone the team considers moving -- but the Lakers have already gone through the Bynum experience.
It would be a stretch to say they’d do it again.
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Email Eric Pincus at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.
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