Andrew Bynum is in a great place, he can sit back and let the market come to him.
He becomes a free agent next summer. If the Lakers trade him to Orlando or not, his options are pretty much clear — he can sign a five-year max deal with the team that has him or leave and go to a team with cap space (Dallas?) and sign a four-year max deal. While the Lakers will talk contract extension, there is no way he signs that for just three years.
But Bynum’s agent David Lee wants you to know that list of places he would sign a long-term deal — Lakers, Cavaliers, Mavericks — is a fabrication. That’s what he told ESPNLosAngeles.com.
Lee also denied that Bynum had a list of preferred destinations, saying he and Bynum chuckled when they read reports while on vacation in Alaska last week indicating he already had made such decisions.
However, sources have told (ESPN reporter Chris) Broussard that Bynum likely would not sign an extension anywhere else but with the Lakers this summer because it benefits him financially to wait until after the season so he can get a longer, more lucrative deal.
Money matters to Bynum, maybe more than some other NBA players. Which makes me think whichever team has his rights at the end of this season has the best chance to re-sign him because they can offer more money and years. He might bolt a bad situation, but if it is a team he can be comfortable with smart money says he stays.
And if you made me bet, I’d say that will be with the Lakers.
(Last note to Lakers fans: I hear you on the radio with Bynum sign-and-trade scenarios, just remember that under the new CBA any sign-and-trade can only be for what a player could sign for as a free agent — four years, not five, with smaller raises. You can no longer do what Carmelo Anthony did and get the home-town max extension and then be instantly traded.)