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NBA Rumor: Cavs interested in 1-year deal for Andrew Bynum?

While the Cavs have already had a busy past few days, they might not be done just yet. ESPN.com’s Marc Stein is reporting that Cleveland could be interested in a one-year deal for All-Star center Andrew Bynum. Here are his latest tweets:

Bynum, who will be 26 by the start of the season, missed the entirety of 2012-13 with the Philadelphia 76ers after the blockbuster deal that moved him away from Los Angeles. Reports were back-and-forth throughout the year on the status of his knees, before he ultimately settled for season-ending operations in mid-March.

Stein’s full article over at ESPN.com shares how the Cavs have joined the Dallas Mavericks in the Bynum-sweepstakes. He wrote that the Cavs are likely unwilling to give more than the rumored one-year deal. He also wrote the words “prime” and “legitimate” three times total in reference to Cleveland’s interest. The Atlanta Hawks are another listed potential suitor.

[Related: Cavaliers need to just walk away from Andrew Bynum]

Although his injury situation is obviously a huge risk for any NBA team on any deal, Bynum and the Cavs could be a perfect marriage on a one-year incentive-laden deal. The team has been said to have interest in “kicking the tires” on Bynum previously. When healthy, the big center has proven to be one of the best in the league. During the 2011-12 season, by far his best, he averaged 18.7 points, 11.8 rebounds and 1.9 blocks in 35.2 minutes per night.

The Cavaliers currently own a plethora of big men, but most are not perfectly suited for defending the center position in the NBA. Tyler Zeller, Anderson Varejao and Tristan Thompson all return to the fold along with recent No. 1 pick Anthony Bennett. While it’s already an interesting numbers game to figure out the 4/5 minutes distribution, Bynum would be a clear upgrade (when healthy) at the big man role.

We should see more in the next few days about the possibility of such a deal. Bynum earned about $58 million over the length of his previous four-year deal leading to his free agency. Certainly, the Cavs are interested in cap space for the summer of 2014, so a one-year deal at around $10 million could be a potential fit. The team has about $6-12 million left for signings, but can always sign players to the minimum to finish the roster.

[Related: Cavs’ summer has been interesting but not filled with fireworks]

  • LilBoyBlue

    No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No and no.

  • Jaker

    Whoa… Andy Murray won Wimbledon today

  • JHop

    I’d be for signing Bynum to a multiyear deal if it was incentive-laden with plenty of team options to round out the final years.

    But a one year deal? What’s the purpose of that? Best case: plays well, stays healthy, Cavs make playoffs, but then he leaves on a max deal to some team not trying to sign you-know-who. Worst case: repeat of last season or does play (poorly) and limits the playing time of our young bigs.

    Makes no sense in terms of the long term rebuild the Cavs are currently in.

  • JacobWFNY

    A one-year deal doesn’t affect anything, in my mind.

    Scenario A: Healthy, plays well, all PERFECT. YAY. I’d put odds at 25%.
    Scenario B: He’s semi-healthy, plays OK, but clearly, clearly not the same player. Cancerous on team. I’d put odds at 5%.
    Scenario C: Not healthy. Hardly plays. Team moves on after one-year commitment. I’d put odds at 60%.

    My point: I don’t see the risk. I see it highly unlikely Bynum’s healthy enough to pay, yet so bad that he affects the development of the other players. If he’s healthy, he’s proven he’s a special talent. It’s just banking on the health. And I’d take the risk on a one-year deal; better than just signing the Odens/Stiemsmas of the world, eh?

  • JHop

    I guess my point is: do the added wins he may provide (if he stays healthy and if plays at a high level) outweigh the potential off-the-court headaches and lost playing time that could be used to further develop Zeller or the other young bigs, keeping in mind that Bynum would most likely bolt from the team after the one year deal is done? I’d argue no, especially since the Cavs aren’t that close to contending quite yet.

  • saggy

    i agree 100%. his upside is well higher than Oden’s. Bynum has actually dominated for a year in the NBA. Oden hasn’t even been healthy a year.

    best case: cleveland goes to the playoffs as a mid-seed, maybe even advances a round or 2. Bynum stays healthy and wants to re-up with the Cavs long term. I’m onboard.

  • saggy

    Zeller is not going to develop into anything worth more than Bynum.

  • FearTheRoo

    Bynum will be able to get better than a 1 year deal somewhere else. I have no problem signing him. Hate to say it but the only reason people want Oden instead is because he went to OSU.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    And because he’d be a lot cheaper… not saying I want Oden, but that’s one of the reasons I’ve heard from people who aren’t tOSU homers.

  • Jaker

    Gob’s not on board

  • thenoclist

    There is no downside here. Do it.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    I’m game if you are Andrew… but I’m doubting that you’re game. It just seems like there are too many idiot GMs and owners who would give you a multi-year deal.

  • FearTheRoo

    Yes he’s cheaper, but also much more unlikely to step foot on the court. Both are the same age and Bynum has played in over 300 more games.

  • BenRM

    all arrested development references earn a +1 from me b/c they make me happy.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    All comments on references to Arrested Development earn a +1 from me because they both make me happy.

    There’s always money in the banana stand, Ben.

  • mgbode

    Jacob has %’s that don’t add up to 100%? He clearly has some ScenarioD in his back pocket eating up that remaining 10%.

  • mgbode

    I get what you are saying. If we sign Bynum to a 1yr deal, then he bolts, it doesn’t help our team long-term. I think it’s easy to get blinded by the desire to make the playoffs and be competitive after the last 3 years.

    However, I also think that we have a much, much higher chance of signing Bynum to a long-term deal next offseason (if he proves to be healthy enough for it) if we have him on the team this year. He can play a season w/o Kobe Bryant and see that basketball can be fun again.

    I think that is why it would be worth the risk (and the risk of him not resigning is less than the risk of giving him that multi-year deal IMO).

  • woofersus

    He can certainly get a multi-year deal somewhere else, but he and his agent have to know that if he plays one year and shows a return to health and earlier form he’ll be in line for a max deal from the team of his choice a la Dwight Howard this year. (especially since several teams will be clearing cap space for a potential LeBron opportunity)

  • JacobWFNY

    Blargh. You win.

  • woofersus

    Yeah, I’m still pretty high on Zeller, but he’s never going to have the potential of Bynum. He’ll still play and develop. It’s a risk you have to take if Bynum were willing to sign the one year deal in the hopes of cashing in long term the next year. (and the doctors say his knee is fine, obviously)

  • mgbode

    No, no, no. I don’t want to win. I want scenarioD 🙂

  • architrance

    I’ve been heretofore strongly opposed to bringing in the sideshow that is
    Andrew Bynum. BUT – on a one year deal? If he’s even remotely ready to
    play by the start of the season – then HELL YES! The trend in the NBA
    seems to be focused solely on forming super teams now. If Bynum slowly
    returns to form by the end of next season, I think it makes the Cavs
    that much more attractive to a big free agent next summer. We’d have the
    ability to offer Bynum a bigger contract than any other team and
    hopefully have cap room to add another big name – I’ll say Melo. So if
    you can convince (a healthy) Bynum to stay – you offer the opportunity
    to play alongside maybe the best young PG & C combo in the game,
    along with nice young pieces in Waiters, TT, Zeller & Bennett. Throw
    in a dominant SF and I think you’re looking at a perennial title
    contender.

    And if Bynum doesn’t work out – just let him walk, or
    resign him to an even cheaper, incentive laden contract. This just
    seems like an excellent (and very Chris Grant way) of adding a BIG piece
    to the franchise.

  • Jaker

    I love all my fellow WFNY posters equally.

    {Earlier that day} I don’t care for Vindictive Pat

  • CavsPlayoffPush

    Agree with your post but Melo is more of a sideshow than Bynum will ever be.

  • architrance

    Well as far as I can tell the top FA’s next year seem to be Deng, Dirk, Granger, Kobe, Pau, Gay, Melo and maybe the majority of the Heat – so pick your poison.

  • Jaker

    I get it if you don’t want Bynum for a few reasons; costs too much, bad influence, injury prone are all accepted answers. But because he would be stalling Zeller’s development?! News Flash! TyZ is a backup Center and will always be a backup Center. I’m not trying to hate on the guy cuz I think he may turn into a valuable rotation piece, but he should not be the reason we pass on Bynum. If we pass on Bynum, it should be because he’s injured or because he’s a Cotton Headed Ninny Muggins.

    To be honest, I like the One Year Deal idea. I would love to sign him long term, but that is just way too risky at this point in his career. Let’s look at the positives to signing him for 1 year:

    -We are still financially flexible for 2014

    -The money is coming from Gilbert, and he had to spend salary anyway.

    -If he’s injured, we won’t be set back because he was our last resort, and we didn’t commit much to him.

    -Jersey Sales, ticket Sales, and selling fans on the “We are done with the Lottery”

    -Its a great way to move forward from Lottery presence.

    -If he’s healthy, we have the best PG-C combo in the NBA. The BEST.

    -If he plays well, and likes playing with Kyrie, maybe he will get his act together a lil, and maybe he will want to sign an extension. Maybe

    -Any downside to this will end in April 2014

    We aren’t tanking to get a high pick in 2014, that ship has sailed. Which means if you aren’t going for a top pick, you better try and make the Playoffs. This would be a move that gets us there. Make it incentive laden, maybe even throw in a Team Option for next year. THE ONLY Downfall to a one year deal would be that we don;t have any more room to add talent THIS season. But since there’s no more talent out there, I don’t see a big reason not to get him.

    If he passes a physical, go and get him. We should make the playoffs with that team

  • TSR3000

    Maybe the eccentric Bynum would thrive in a smaller market like Cleveland. The best case scenario is he plays well, has a rebirth and loves playing with Irving. Worth a shot.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    Interesting thought… if that’s the case, then whatever Bynum chooses would be the right move for the Cavs. 1-year-deal w/ Cleveland means he’s healthy and ready to go after a max deal. Multi-year deal means he’s trying to grab less than the max because he’s not healthy enough to count on getting the max deal. If that ends up being truth, then I feel good about the Cavs’ position.

  • BenRM

    No reason not to if he will sign a 1 year deal. I don’t think it will pan out because I believe he’s probably still hurt, but it’s not like there’s much else out there that isn’t a trade.

  • BenRM

    I dunno, that Jeremy Lin is a heck of a PG. /sarcasm font

    I agree on your take on Zeller. I believe he was drafted to be your rotational Center guy. If he’s starting, it’s because (A) someone is injured; (B) you have roster issues; or (C) he mysteriously got really awesome.

  • Harv 21

    Not sure how you’ can already be so positive that Zeller is destined as a career back up. We haven’t seen him in year 2 to judge what if any improvement he’s made, or whether he’s been able to add muscle. There’s a lot of mediocre at best starting centers in the league. I don’t think Grant or even the kid himself knows for sure what his future holds at this moment.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    This all but seals me being Jacob’s favorite now! Booyah!

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    There are many days when you mere mortals do not add up to 100%!

  • Harv 21

    The Cavs will not be getting any big free agents. Young rich athletes don’t want to live here. Attracting great players in their prime may only be possible if the org looks like it’s built a dynasty which would attract ring chasers. And that includes LeBron.

  • CavsPlayoffPush

    Dirk-Not going anywhere
    Kobe-Not going anywhere
    Granger-I like but injuries drastically slowed career
    Pau-Over the hill
    Gay-Might be the best fit/option
    Melo-very unlikely to sign with the Cavs
    Deng-not going to take us over the top

    Wade-Over the hill/very unlikely to sign with Cavs
    Bosh-WAY overrated
    and Lebron-Best player on planet, reunion still unlikely at this point in my opinion. However, alot of things can happen in one year, as all cavs fans are well aware.

  • wildrover4

    Here is thing with signing Bynum for the money he wants, you better make sure that players like Asik and Gasol are not going to be available. Because if you sign him, and he cannot play, your salary cap is gone for this year. Even if you sign him with an Exhibit 3 clause, and end up having to excercise it, it is not like you can go back to July and take advantage of the opportunities later.