Mavericks meet with Andrew Bynum; how much of his contract is guaranteed could determine where he signs

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UPDATE 8:24 p.m.: Things happen quickly around these parts — Andrew Bynum has agreed to sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

7:27 p.m.: When it was reported that the Cavaliers had offered Andrew Bynum a two-year deal worth $24 million, we knew that the contract would be incentive-based due to the injuries that prevented the big man from playing a single minute for the Sixers after being traded there last summer.

But we didn’t know just how little of those dollars were guaranteed, and in what appears to be a two-team race to sign up for the Bynum experience between the Cavaliers and the Mavericks, that might end up being the deciding factor in where the All-Star center ultimately chooses to sign.

The Mavericks met with Bynum on Wednesday, and are reportedly entering the contract negotiation stages — albeit with some caution.

From Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas:

The Dallas Mavericks are cautiously engaging in contract negotiations with Andrew Bynum after meeting with the free-agent center and his agent at a Dallas hotel Wednesday morning.

Sources told ESPN.com’s Marc Stein that $6 million of the $24 million offered by Cleveland is guaranteed. Bynum would be forced to reach a variety of incentive benchmarks to collect the full $12 million in Year 1, according to sources, while Year 2 was pitched by Cleveland as a team option year.

Yet it remains unclear how much guaranteed money Dallas will be willing to offer Bynum in a multiyear deal after launching the evaluation process in earnest with Wednesday’s meetings.

It appears as though an offer will be coming from the Mavericks, but it’s tough to predict where exactly it will land financially.

Dallas currently has just over $8 million in cap space available for next season, and dealing veterans like Shawn Marion or Vince Carter could easily create much more. But it’s been something that the team has seemed unwilling to do, at least to this point in the process.

Bynum averaged 18.7 points, 11.8 rebounds and 1.9 blocked shots per game in his best NBA season back in 2011-12 with the Lakers. But despite that tempting skill set, Dallas and Cleveland are going to only be willing to commit so much to someone whose injury history makes him a prohibitive long-term risk.

Charles Barkley tells Shaq he had to ride the coattails of Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade (VIDEO)

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Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley can sometimes get into it on TNT’s programming surrounding NBA games, but Tuesday night after the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Boston Celtics in Game 4, 112-99, was something different.

The two got testy — even more so than usual — as Barkley and Shaq traded insults.

Most notably, O’Neal went after the fact that Barkley only once made the NBA Finals, while Chuck told Shaq he had to ride the coattails of Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade to get his rings.

It felt at least partially real, especially if you watch Ernie Johnson’s reaction during the back-and-forth.

Via Twitter:

Game 4 was more interesting, but a 30 minute special where Chuck and Shaq actually do move the furniture and throw down might draw more viewers than these playoffs.

Here’s Kyrie Irving going nuts on the Celtics in the third quarter of Game 3 (VIDEO)

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Kyrie Irving went crazy on the Boston Celtics on Tuesday, scoring 23 points in the third quarter while simultaneously saving the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 4. Thanks to his efforts, the Cavaliers now have a chance to head back to Boston on Thursday for an elimination Game 5.

If you were unable to watch Irving go bananas as LeBron James struggled with foul trouble, it truly was a dazzling display. Cleveland scored a whopping 40 points in the third quarter alone, and Irving seemed energized by a rolled ankle he suffered in the period.

So without further ado, let’s take a look at how Kyrie got the Cavaliers’ groove back.

Via Twitter:

Not bad, not bad. If you like that sort of thing.

What I really like is this move that came in the fourth quarter.

I just fell out of my chair, someone help me up.

Cleveland beat Boston, 112-99. They now lead the series, 3-1.

Watch LeBron James miss a wide open dunk against the Celtics in Game 4 (VIDEO)

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LeBron James did not have a good first half on Tuesday night against the Boston Celtics. The Cleveland Cavaliers star had four fouls in the first half, the first time that had ever happened according to ESPN.

Things were not going well for James when he went up for a dunk with nary a defender in front of him and he still wound up being unable to convert the bucket.

This is something you don’t see every day.

Via Twitter:

Of course, thanks to a 23-point quarter by Kyrie Irving the missed dunk didn’t seem to mean much. LeBron’s playoff entry to Shaqtin’ A Fool will be duly noted.

Meanwhile, the Kyrie Irving saved the Cavaliers in Game 4 with a 42-point effort. The Cavaliers beat the Celtics, 112-99, and will have a chance to close the series Thursday night in Boston in Game 5.

Kyrie Irving scores 23 in third quarter, saves Cavaliers in Game 4 win over Celtics

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The Boston Celtics led by as many as 16 points, but Kyrie Irving‘s 23-point third quarter sparked a Cleveland Cavaliers comeback that the visiting squad could never match. With LeBron James struggling early, Irving’s incredible play helped Cleveland grab a win in Game 4, 112-99.

James was the big storyline as the game opened, as the King again struggled with scoring. James got himself into foul trouble hilariously early, racking up his fourth foul in the second quarter. It was the first time in his career that James had four fouls in the first half, and it hamstrung the Cavaliers.

Boston continued their effective play on offense, seemingly less predictable with Isaiah Thomas out with a hip injury. Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder were the stars for the Celtics, but after an incredible Game 3 performance Marcus Smart failed to deliver.

Irving’s big third quarter was of course the main storyline of the game, with the star guard going nuts on Celtics defenders with a bevy of crossovers, twisting layups, and pull up 3-pointers. He did all this after rolling his ankle, seemingly using the adrenaline to fight off both injury and a series tie at 2-2. Irving’s 23-point quarter fueled a 40-point period for Cleveland, helping them turn the tables and take a 7-point lead going into the fourth.

LeBron seemed to reactivate off Irving’s stellar play, and he wound up scoring 34 points on 15-of-27 shooting, adding six assists, five rebounds, a steal and a block. Irving finished with 42 points, going 4-of-7 from 3-point range to go along with four assists and three rebounds.

Boston was led by Bradley, who scored 19 points but went just 1-of-7 from 3-point range. Crowder added 18 points, eight rebounds, and four assists. Al Horford dropped 16 points, seven assists, and three rebounds.

Cleveland now has a chance to put us out of our misery and close this series in Boston in Game 5 on Thursday.

If the Cavaliers do close, the big questions that remain will be whether LeBron can perform steadily and if the Cavaliers have what it takes on defense to slow down the Golden State Warriors.