Harris DeckerThe Cleveland Cavaliers shipped a boatload, including Andrew Bynum, to the Chicago Bulls for Luol Deng. The trade is being viewed as a salary dump for the Bulls, who will cut Bynum, getting them under the luxury tax line. Now the question becomes, where does the former All-Star center end up?
Bynum is a troubled player. In 2005, he was selected 10th overall by the Los Angeles Lakers. He played in LA for 7 seasons, averaging 11.7 points per game, 7.8 rebounds per game and more than one block and assist per game. His numbers aside, he’s been suspended multiple times and missed a large chunk of time, including the entire 2012-13 season, due to a knee injury.
His time with the 76ers was short-lived, having never played a game in Philadelphia, he was released and signed with the Cavaliers. He will call Chicago home for a brief stint, where he is likely to be passed through waivers and released by the weeks end.
Now, can Carmelo Anthony and Mike Woodson team up to get the former All-Star back to his elite status?
Update – 4:15 p.m.: As of Tuesday afternoon, the Knicks have not inquired on Bynum (Berman).
When you’re looking at a player like Bynum, you have to look at risk and reward. Bynum will likely be looking at a minimum contract, having to prove to NBA teams that he still deserves to be in the league. It has already been hinted that the Heat and Clippers could get involved, in addition to the Knicks. Bynum makes a lot of sense for the Knicks who have a lack of depth in the front court. I’d much rather see New York cut Cole Aldrich and take a shot on Bynum. We know what Aldrich is. We don’t know what’s left in the tank for Bynum.
In 2011-12, the last time he played a full season, he put up career highs in points and rebounds. I’m the kind of fan that believes you don’t just lose talent like that. Sure, it can get buried, and we all know you can’t fool father time, but injuries aside, players can either play or they can’t. They have it or they don’t. Bynum has it and if he can stay healthy and get motivated, he could re-emerge as an impact big man.
The Knicks need to take a long hard look at Bynum once he is released by the Bulls. At a minimum contract, he could be the perfect backup to Tyson Chandler and a buy-low candidate if there ever was one.