There was never a question whether or not the Lakers would pick up their $16.1 million option on Andrew Bynum. He was a lock to stay.
The question has always been what is next?
The Lakers made it official Monday that they picked up Bynum’s option for next season. It’s not the smart move, it was the only move. You don’t let young All-Star centers walk for nothing.
But now what?
Bynum can be a free agent next summer. The Lakers need to either convince Bynum to stay — he says he wants to, but they need to make sure he knows he is the post-Kobe heart of the franchise. Which leads to the question of if you want to do that, he is temperamental and injury prone. Is he really the future anchor.
The Lakers also can trade him. They would for Dwight Howard, but that’s the long shot. The Lakers need to shake up their roster and the only way to do it is to trade Bynum or trade Pau Gasol, and the Lakers will listen to offers for both. Gasol is the more likely to be moved, but Bynum could draw more in return.
So now we’re through the part we knew would happen, Bynum is staying a Laker next season.
Now it gets interesting.