Andrew Bynum is currently on paid leave from the Cleveland Cavaliers as a result of “conduct detrimental to the team”, now the question is will Bynum be exiled by the Cavs? The Los Angeles Lakers are currently in discussions with the Cavaliers about obtaining their former starting center according to numerous reports on Dec. 31.
According to reports the Lakers would send much maligned star Pau Gasol to the Cavaliers for the often injured center and his cap friendly salary. However, the Lakers are also asking for other assets in return for Gasol according to sources familiar with the ongoing talks.
Gasol is scoring and shooting well below his career averages. He is currently averaging 15.1 points and 9.2 rebounds a game while shooting 44.3 percent from the field.
For the Lakers acquiring Bynum is just a salary dump move, as they intend to waive the 7-0 center – thus saving them in excess of $20 million in salary and luxury-tax obligations at season's end.
ESPN also reported Monday that the Cavs also have had separate discussions with the Chicago Bulls about a Bynum trade for Luol Deng, according to sources. The Bulls are in a similar position as the Lakers, about $8 million into the luxury tax and dealing with an injury-marred season.
Deng, like Gasol, is a free agent-to-be, and such a trade-and-waive deal with Bynum also could save the Bulls in excess of $20 million in salary and taxes this season. However, the Bulls have maintained that they do not want to trade Deng and believe they will be able to re-sign him after the season.
Deng, who has missed nine games this season, is leading the Bulls with 19.6 points a game and shooting 45.6 percent from the field. He is also hauling in 6.9 rebounds and dishing out 3.9 assists per contests.
Bynum was suspended for Cleveland’s 103-100 loss at Boston on Dec. 28. The missed game cost the 7-0 center $111,000. He will now be paid the rest of his guaranteed salary.
Bynum is still excused from all team activities but will be paid for the remainder of his time with the team, however, long that will be. Cleveland has placed Bynum on the trade market.
Bynum was suspended following an incident at the team's practice on Dec. 27, but the decision was the culmination of events over the last several weeks, sources told ESPN.com.
Bynum has wavered on his interest in continuing his career after missing all of last season with knee injuries.
There is a lot to consider and digest has proved he still can play at some level and has a contract situation that is rare and valuable under certain circumstances.
Bynum signed a two-year contract for $24.8 million with the Cavs this summer, but only $6 million of it is guaranteed before Jan. 7. After that date, the full $12.25 million this season is guaranteed. Next season's $12.5 million is not guaranteed until July 10.
Bynum has shown that he can still be effective in spurts. He has appeared in 24 games, including 19 starts, this season averaging 8.6 points and 5.3 rebounds while shooting just 42 percent from the floor. Bynum’s true shooting percentage of 45.6 percent would be the third-worst by any player 7-feet or taller in the last 10 seasons according to Elias Sports Bureau.
With so many teams wanting to clear cap space or save on luxury-tax payments now, Bynum will create interest. This involves much of the league, and that's why the Cavs will get plenty of calls in the next week. Whether it equals a deal remains to be seen.
The Los Angeles Clippers, Miami Heat, Toronto Raptors, Atlanta Hawks, Dallas Mavericks, Minnesota Timberwolves, New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets are/should be also interested in Bynum.