Say hello to your new starting center (or should we say old starting center), Mike Brown. Yes, the one that once insisted on launching a 3-point shot in the middle of a tight game for no apparent reason.
It was reported on Wednesday, first by ESPN’s Chris Broussard, that the Cleveland Cavaliers and the enigmatic center Andrew Bynum have come to an agreement on a two-year deal filled with incentives. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports has details:
“The Cleveland Cavaliers will guarantee $6 million of a possible $24.5 million to free agent Andrew Bynum in a two-year, incentive-laden contract that the two-time NBA champion center agreed upon on Wednesday, a league source told Yahoo! Sports. Bynum’s history of knee problems, including losing the entire 2012-13 season to injury, is the reason that teams are so cautious with committing guaranteed money and contract years for the two-time NBA champion center. After visiting with Cleveland, Atlanta and Dallas in successive days, Bynum chose the Cavaliers’ deal on Wednesday night. The agreement includes reasonable incentives on playing time and games played for this season that could pay Bynum $12 million, a league source said. The Cavaliers hold an option for the 2014-15 season worth $12.5 million.”
[Related: Moke Hamilton's analysis of the Bynum deal and the remaining free agents around the league]
With Bynum’s health situation still unclear, his unwillingness to work out to prove to teams of the condition that he is in, and the general reputation he has built up as a “YOLO” type of character who seems far too less concerned about the game of basketball than he should make it appear, this is a deal he absolutely had to take. No one knows how much he has left or what he’s still capable of, which should be a concerning thought for the Cavaliers heading into next season. If Bynum can avoid issues with the knees and perform as he is capable of – and that’s a big if – this is obviously a huge signing to pair with a rising star in Kyrie Irving.
Onto other news from around the league:
- Dwight Howard’s camp reportedly asked the Lakers if they would consider the idea of amnestying Kobe Bryant, from Ramonal Shelburne and Marc Stein of ESPN: “But with Bryant saying publicly just a week before free agency that he was thinking of playing at least two or three more seasons, it was hard for Howard to envision when he would assume that role, sources said. “How can it be Kobe’s team and Dwight’s team?” one source said. “It was about the passing of the torch.” As an offshoot of those discussions, sources said, Howard’s camp at one point asked the Lakers whether they were at least considering releasing Bryant through the league’s amnesty provision, since Bryant’s return date from Achilles tendon surgery remained in question.”
- Josh Smith believes the Pistons can be contenders, from Perry A. Farrell of USA Today: “This was my only option,” Smith said. “I didn’t have any other options. This is where I wanted to be. We’re definitely a playoff team, and we’re definitely a contender.”… “They’ve won championships here,” he said. “(Dumars) has had success as a player and as an executive. I’ve been in the second round of the playoffs three times.”… Smith, second in defensive-player-of-the-year voting in 2010-11 said: “I’m very excited. When I first met with Joe, he had me sold from the word ‘go.’ I’ve always wanted to be a part of a good organization that has a lot of diehard fans. This is the first time I’ve ever seen a lot of people like this at a press conference. “We have a good, young nucleus. We have a lot of potential. When I looked at this roster, I felt like we’re going to be a playoff team this year. I feel like, with the leadership I can bring to the table, we can be an elite basketball team. We should be tough to score against on the inside.”
- With Bynum out of the equation, the Dallas Mavericks may be going after Sam Dalembert, according to Woj: “Free-agent center Sam Dalembert will meet with Dallas Mavericks officials on Thursday, league sources told Yahoo! Sports. Dalembert, 32, is expected to meet with Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle and owner Mark Cuban at team’s facility and has emerged as a target for them, sources told Yahoo! Sports. After passing on making a significant offer to free-agent center Andrew Bynum on Wednesday, the Mavericks have been poised to quickly meet with Dalembert and possibly secure him as a stop-gap center for next season. Dalembert averaged nearly 6.7 points and 5.9 rebounds for the Milwaukee Bucks last season. In 11 seasons in the NBA, including eight with the Philadelphia 76ers, Dalembert has averaged eight points and eight rebounds.”