Highly coveted free agent center Andrew Bynum has reportedly decided to sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers, per ESPN’s Chris Broussard.
Bynum, recently visiting with the Atlanta Hawks and Dallas Mavericks, was reportedly offered a two-year, incentive-laced deal from the Cavaliers that would max out at $24 million. ESPN’s Marc Stein later reported that of the $24 million, only $6 million would be guaranteed due to the performance-based incentives and second-year team option. Despite the team-friendly deal, the Cavaliers were able to guarantee Bynum more than any other team in the league due to their salary cap flexibility. This deal also allows the Cavs to be players in the upcoming 2014 free agency period which kicks off next July.
The 7-footer averaged 18.7 points, 11.8 and just under two blocks in 2011-12 for Mike Brown and the Los Angeles Lakers. If healthy, the 25-year old would give the Cavaliers one of the best centers in the NBA. While many wanted to cast the relationship between Brown and Bynum as toxic, the center reportedly chose Cleveland with Brown representing a “big factor” in the decision.
Recovering from a knee injury that forced him to miss all of 2012-13, the Cavaliers are hopeful that Bynum will be ready for the start of training camp this fall.
[Related: Andrew Bynum, a risk worth taking]