Last summer a four-team trade took place, that sent three well-known players to new, albeit temporary homes; as Dwight Howard went to the Los Angeles Lakers, Andre Iguodala headed to the Denver Nuggets and Andrew Bynum became the newest member of the Philadelphia 76ers. Bynum, was coming off by far, his best campaign since joining the Association and it seemed a lock, that Bynum would sign a max-deal pact with the Sixers at the end of the season.
One-year later, Dwight Howard has signed a four-year deal with the Houston Rockets, Iguodala will be a big part of restoring the Warriors credibility and on Wednesday the “Cleveland Plain Dealer,” reported that Bynum and the Cleveland Cavaliers have reached an agreement to put the former All-Star center Bynum in a wine and gold uniform, for possibly the next two seasons.
According to the paper, the former All-Star big man has agreed to a contract that is low-risk for Cleveland, but could have high rewards for both team and player. The Cavaliers have only committed $6 million in guaranteed money to the talented, but oft-injured big man, however if Bynum is able to reach all the incentives in the pact, he could earn $24 million over the next two seasons.
The center fulfilled his potential with the Lakers during the lockout-shortened 2011-2012 season, averaging a double-double, starting 60 games, knocking down 18.7 points and grabbing 11.8 boards per contest. He was welcomed to Philadelphia by Sixers fans, who had visions of him leading Philadelphia to a Larry O’Brien Trophy, as another new center to the squad Moses Malone, had previously done thirty-years before.
That was not the way things played out for Bynum and the Sixers, as the big man was sidelined the entire season with knee problems. The big man had gone from a max-deal player, to a reclamation project and chose to reunite with bench boss Mike Brown in Cleveland. Brown was the head coach for Los Angeles, during Bynum’s All-Star campaign, which most likely played a factor in Bynum deciding to go with the Cavaliers, over the Atlanta Hawks or the Dallas Mavericks, the other two teams he talked with.
Cleveland went into the offseason with obvious holes at small forward and at center. The Bynum signing could reap huge rewards for the player and the franchise, if Bynum is unable to perform, the monetary loss will be far worth the gamble.