76ers Bynum Basketball

Report: Dallas Mavericks interested in Andrew Bynum


Mark Cuban didn’t succeed in his Dwight Howard gambit, so now me may be about to roll the dice on another elite center… well, sometimes elite center sometimes flamenco dancer.

Mavericks fans, how would you like to have Andrew Bynum on your team?

Actually, it’s not that bad a gamble (we’ll get to that) and the Mavericks are serious, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.

As they should. Very detailed. Philadelphia traded Andre Iguodala for Bynum last year and didn’t get one game out of him, a move that was followed by a front office shakeup there.

But with the right deal this is not a bad gamble for Dallas — a two or three year contract with team options on the second and third years, plus a clause that if he doesn’t play due to a pre-existing knee condition the contract can essentially be voided (this does exist, the Timberwolves had it in Brandon Roy’s deal last year).

The upside is if Bynum is back close to his All-Star self the Mavericks have arguably the best center in the game on their team. If not, they let him go after one year and use the cap space to chase free agents again next summer.

Expect Bynum and his team to be patient, holding out for the best offer now that Dwight Howard has made his call.

James Harden: “I am the best player in the league. I believe that.”

James Harden, Stephen Curry
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James Harden was the MVP last season — if you ask his fellow NBA players.

The traditional award (based on a media vote) went to Stephen Curry (in the closest vote in four years), and that was the right call (in my mind). But from the time it happened Harden did not buy it. And he still doesn’t buy it. In the least — and he’s using that as fuel for this season. That’s what he told Fran Blinebury over at NBA.com.

“I am the best player in the league. I believe that,” he said. “I thought I was last year, too.”

Well, it’s a more realistic claim than Paul George’s.

“But that award means most valuable to your team. We finished second in the West, which nobody thought we were going to do at the beginning of the year even when everybody was healthy. We were near the top in having the most injuries. We won our division in a division where every single team made the playoffs.

“There’s so many factors. I led the league in total points scored, minutes played. Like I said, I’m not taking anything away from Steph, but I felt I deserved the Most Valuable Player. That stays with me.”

That’s very Kobe Bryant of you to turn that into fuel. Defining the MVP Award is an annual discussion that nobody agrees on.

I could get into how Harden was the old-school, traditional stats MVP, how that ignores how Steve Kerr used Curry, and how that opened up the Warriors’ offense to championship levels. Curry put up numbers, but he was also the distraction, the bright star that Kerr used to open up looks for Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and others. Curry’s strength was not just what he did with the ball in his hands, but his gravity to draw defenders even when he didn’t. Did the Warriors stay healthier than the Rockets? No doubt. Should Curry be penalized for that?

It’s simple for Harden — if he can put up those numbers again, if he can be the fulcrum of a top offense, he will be in the discussion for MVP again. And, if he can lead the Rockets beyond the conference finals, nobody will talk about that MVP snub anyway.