Fearless Cavs Offer Bynum 2-Year Deal


HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — From Dion Waiters to Anthony Bennett and now Andrew Bynum, Cleveland Cavaliers general manager Chris Grant is fearless.

In a copycat league, he’s decided to go his own way and usually in dramatic fashion.

We’ve come to expect the unexpected from Grant in the Draft, both Waiters in 2012 and Bennett last month were surprising picks at No. 4 and No. 1 overall, respectively.

Grant doubling down on Bynum in free agency though, with a reported two-year deal that could be worth some $24 million with incentives, pushes the envelope to the brink.

Yes, there is a team option on the second season and plenty of incentives. So Grant has covered himself in ways the Philadelphia 76ers could not when they acquired Bynum in that blockbuster Dwight Howard trade last summer from the Los Angeles Lakers. The fact that they are even entertaining the risk of adding Bynum to a roster that was ravaged by injuries last season (most notably to Kyrie Irving and Anderson Varejao) tells you how desperate the franchise is to rise from the ashes of The Decision and move back into playoff territory.

Grant obviously isn’t alone in his risky business this summer. Bynum has face-to-face meetings scheduled with the Atlanta Hawks and Dallas Mavericks this week, following Monday’s visit to Cleveland. I don’t care if he works out for these teams or not, entertaining the idea of adding him to your team (I don’t care what the price) is an extremely dicey gamble.

Bynum has experienced more highs and lows than your average 25-year-old should-be-dominant low-post monster. He’s got two championship rings, but also has only played more than 65 games just once in his eight seasons in the league. The talent is undeniable. Players his size and with his skill-set are rare.

I’m just not sure that being on the NBA’s endangered species list warrants the sort of pursuit we are seeing. The Mavericks and Hawks are desperate for big man help as well, and they could both use a healthy Bynum in the worst way.

How much are they willing to risk to take that chance?

A colleague and good friend suggested that the risk isn’t as great as some (me) are making it out to be.

“The second year is an option, right?” he wrote. “Makes it less of a gamble if they can drop him next summer and still have space for LeBron [James].”

Yeah, that sounds great until you remember that the Cavaliers cannot continue to play the waiting game year after painful year. After all, they were supposed to win a title or two before LeBron won anything in Miami, a prediction that came crashing down in the worst way.

I’ve heard all of the arguments to the contrary …

What if Bynum’s knees hold up?

What if he reverts back to the form he showed in his final season with the Lakers, when he averaged career bests in points (18.7), rebounds (11.9) and minutes (35.2) to go along with 1.9 blocks?

What if at 25 he’s still got five or six great years left in him, in those knees?

What if? is a loaded phrase lottery teams use to justify off-the-track decisions that usually come back to bite them in the end.

That’s a phrase the Cavaliers should avoid at all costs if they are intent on becoming the playoff team that gambler of a general manager of theirs believes they could be this season.


  1. Trayton says:

    Are we all forgetting that Bynum put off his knee surgery so he could watch the world cup? This guy is a joke he doesn’t take this sport seriously the NBA is a profession not a Bobbie and until he figures out his priorities then he’ll never amount to anything no matter what the team sings him. But with the aquastion of earl clark , Anthony bennit, jarred jack and Tristan Thompson, kyrie irving, Dion waiters, and hopefully a healthy Andre varajo the cavs have a young and dangerous team. I’m excited to see what Mike Brown can do in this setting as well. 

  2. Secret Squirrel says:

    I like a healthy Bynum but why pay a guy who refuses to work out? This guy could be the highest paid player on the team this season without ever taking the court (that’s unfair to the players out their hustling their butts off). I would prefer they make an offer to Mullens and go sign some outside shooters. Offer the Laker’s two 2nd round draft picks for Pau Gasol because the Lake show is a wrap this year.

  3. Matthew says:

    I’d say it is a safe gamble. Sign him for two years. Let him rehab for another year while the young guns mature. Play him the next year with another top 5 draft pick… Thats how you rebuild. Go Hawks!!

  4. qqqq says:

    there is no way that bynum comes back and avrages 18 / 11, the guy has prolly done very little training, thats maby one of the reasons he wont work out for teams.
    or that he still looks at him selv as a superstar, wich he is not!

  5. caloyski says:

    I hope MR SEKOU SMITH YOU don’t edit my opinion for the 12th time– I don’t understand why you censor the opinions of your fans– its an enjoyable way of getting ideas– I pity the CAVs or the MAVs if they acquire the Volatile Bynum– there are a HUNDRED good Center around the Globe– Look for them

  6. J says:

    go for it now!!!

  7. asdf says:

    Why would anyone want to sign this primadona? the guy is lazy and has no work ethic. Not agreeing to work out for teams? what does Bynum expect, coming off major injury who sidelined him for a full season.

  8. daniel says:

    Terrible article. The .Cavs have a ton of capspace and can give him a shot without jeopardizing flexibility in the long run. Low risk high reward.

  9. realist2013 says:

    He doesnt want to work out for teams. He has no work ethic. He will gladly take money for doing nothing. How the NBA has fallen.

    • Matthew says:

      Just the NBA? That is America in general. Why work for what you can get handed to you. Life in excess. Get as much as you can for the lowest amount. Liberal capitalism here we go!! AB is living the dream. Getting paid millions to do nothing. Let the haters hate but that boy is smart. Definitely a future investment banker.

  10. coolitdude says:

    AB is just another Oden…. let him go let him go… Petkovic or even Pau Gasol fits in better..

    • ghjk says:

      Talking about Greg Oden.. wasn’t he supposed to come back with the Cavs or Celts this season?

  11. Willy Spurd says:

    Oh so the Cleveland Docs are gonna make AB feel better so he can play 12 games this year? Do you have bowling alleys as well? He is a rip off artist at his best! unreal! Do you have a spot for him in your bowling league? He won’t be traveling thats for sure. Doug Collins would still be coaching if it wasn’t for AB and the stupid trade which sent Iggy on his travels. This guy is a young Don King, look at his hair!

  12. Sam says:

    Honestly, just wait for the 2014 draft. Its loaded.

  13. Shawn K says:

    Talk about an all-or-nothing risk. Hope it pays off for the Cavs

  14. clevelander says:

    im from cleveland and we have the best medical care in the country so we aint worried about bynums knees at all ha cavs pistons and the wizards is coming

  15. Jacky says:

    cavs dont even need to think about lebron now, they will probably become contenders in 2 years

  16. W/E says:

    Lol at the cavs, their doctors team will have alot work to do in the next 2 years,alot of bad knees to fix hahaha

  17. KImmy says:

    I like whe young teams gomout on a limb. This is a win win situation for both Bynum abd the Cavaliers. I wish them the best and will definately be monitoring htis team and their games. I agree, this is going to be ONE of the teams to watch this season.

  18. HonestGuy says:

    I don’t understand why it’s supposed to be such a bad deal, worst case scenario, he doesn’t play a single game and gets dropped next season. If the cavs need to use 90% of their cap on salaries (CBA agreement), might as well use it on someone who may actually make your team better.

  19. sportymebj61 says:

    Yes, Cleveland Cavs go for it! The next level is waiting for this time and with this added piece we are in the PLAYOFFS 2013-14 and could go all the way.

  20. I think by the Cavs offering incentives is a gd move, not sure what they are tho. I am not sure about the dollar amount.

  21. Oakley34BLAM says:

    An incentive laden deal with a team option for the second year makes this a great offer for the Cavs. Between Varejao and Bynum one hopes they could cobble together a starting center for at least most of the season, and if they are both healthy (hah just kidding we all know that aint happening) all season then sharing minutes should help keep them fresh(ish). Not a Cavs fan really, but this is starting to look like a team to watch in the East chase.