Now that the nightmare that is Dwight Howard has officially ended, and he has signed with the Houston Rockets, we can move on to different NBA stories. The second best center in the NBA, and quite possibly the best, when healthy is still on the market. That man is Andrew Bynum. Bynum had a meeting with the Cleveland Cavaliers today, and will meet with the Atlanta Hawks next, followed by the Dallas Mavericks.
Although the Cavs would have liked to get an official confirmation from Bynum while in their meeting, they did not. But, while at a Cleveland airport, Bynum did happen to run into a Cavs fan who tweeted out what Bynum told him: that he would indeed be playing for the Cavs next season. While this is not exactly a legit source to derive NBA information from, but at this point of the NBA free-agency period, when writers will take any nugget of information they can get, it is something you can surely run with.
It is possible that Bynum has already made up his mind, and will play for the Cavs next season, and is only using his remaining two meetings to sweeten a deal he feels is not enough. Any deal for Bynum is assumed to be for one year with a team option on the second, especially because of the history of Bynum’s injuries, but that may not be what Bynum wants. Or, with his lack of maturity, he could just be putting in place a plan to try and get more money. Put simply Bynum is lucky that anyone even wants to sign him at this point. He missed all of last season with another knee injury, insists he is healthy enough to play, but refuses to work out for any teams. Thus employing the perfect example of ignorance among NBA players.
If the Cavs do indeed wind up acquiring Bynum, and he is in good health, as he says he is, then this will be a steal. I have held the stance long before the Los Angeles Lakers traded for Dwight Howard, sending Bynum to the Philadelphia 76ers, that when he is healthy Bynum is a better all-around center than Howard. And after watching Howard for a full season, and having watched Bynum since his rookie season, I still hold the same belief. While Bynum is not as athletic and not as dominant on the defensive end, he makes up for it with his offensive skills, and formidable defense.
Bynum will be a great inside scoring threat, and low-post player, for a team that lacked just that this past season. With a young core of talented players to lean on, including this year’s first-round draft pick Anthony Bennett, the Cavs will be a very good team in the Eastern Conference. But, once again, this all comes down to how healthy this team can stay. Kyrie Irving, as all NBA fans know, has had his fair share of injuries throughout college and the pros, and Anderson Varejao’s freak injury last year played a huge part in the Cavs second half demise. Nevertheless I believe if Bynum does indeed sign with the Cavs that he will have a great season on a very good up-and-coming team. If you’re a Cavs fan and enjoy seeing your team in the NBA draft lottery then you are in for a rude awakening come the 2014 draft. This team, with or without Bynum, is destined for a breakout year, and a spot in the playoffs.
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