The Cleveland Cavaliers signed centre Andrew Bynum last night.
The injured Bynum didn’t play at all last year after Philly traded a boatload of assets to get him from the Lakers.
But the terms of the Cavs deal are incredibly team-friendly (via ESPN):
- Year 1: $6 million guaranteed, with another $6 million in various games played incentives
- Year 2: $12 million team option (aka, the Cavaliers can let him go after this year)
So it’s a two-year, $24 million deal (75% of which is non-guaranteed) for a 25-year-old centre who everyone in the NBA assumed would be getting a maximum five year, $100 million contract less than a year ago.
Worst-case scenario: Bynum doesn’t play a game and Cleveland’s $6 million goes up in flames. They get a lottery pick (in one of the best drafts in a decade), and have a ton of cap space next summer after they turn down Bynum’s option.
Best-case scenario: Bynum returns to his 2011-12 form, and you get a player that’s worth $20-million per year at a steep, steep discount. Then you trade Anderson Varejao’s expiring contract for a good wing player, and you go into the summer of 2014 with the core of Kyrie Irving-Bynum-Wing X and a slew of young parts (Tristan Thompson, Anthony Bennett, Dion Waiters).
It’s a no-brainer.
$6 million is nothing in the NBA. Drew Gooden makes more than $6 million. That’s a relatively small bet on a player that has the talent to be one of the best centres in the league.
It’s easy to forget, but Bynum was really, really good two years ago.
He averaged 19 points and 12 rebounds, and had 10 20-10 games in a the lockout-shortened 62 game season.
The injury issues are massive. Bynum spent last year coming up with goofy hair styles and bowling while his chronically injured knees refused to heal.
But it’s not like Cleveland is going out on a limb here. They’re betting $6 million on a potential $100 million player.
Hopefully these days are over for Bynum:
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