Andrew Bynum

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


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’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.

PBT Extra bold prediction previews: Can Thunder win 60 games?

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Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and Serge Ibaka are healthy — just how good will the Thunder be?

The bold prediction in this PBT Extra preview with Jenna Corrado is that the Thunder will win 60 games, something they have not yet done. I wouldn’t bet on them hitting that number — with a new coach, and them making sure Durant and Westbrook get rest coming off injuries, plus the fact they’re in the deep West, that number may be high.

I think they have a better chance to come out of the West than win 60 games. I think they have a good shot to come out of the West.

Gallinari ready to take big role in new Nuggets offense

Danilo Gallinari, Jimmy Butler
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DENVER (AP) — Danilo Gallinari wants everyone to know this: His surgically repaired left knee, the one that took three procedures to fix and nearly two seasons to fully trust, no longer bothers him.

The Denver Nuggets forward doesn’t need to be on any sort of minutes restriction. He doesn’t need days off during the season. And he certainly doesn’t need to be coddled.

He’s Gallo again, the hard-to-guard Italian playmaker who can knock down the 3-pointer just as easily as drive to the hoop or even post up. He believes he will fit in quite nicely into new coach Michael Malone’s system.

“The thing I’m focused on is trying to get (this team) back to the same level that the Nuggets were when I got to Denver, when we were going to the playoffs easy. When we were clinching a playoff one or two weeks before the season was over,” said Gallinari, who was acquired in the 2011 blockbuster deal that sent Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks. “We need to get back to that level.”

Almost seems so long ago, given that the Nuggets have missed the playoffs two straight seasons after consistently making it for nearly a decade.

Gallinari returned last season for the first time since blowing out his knee in a game on April 4, 2013. His minutes were closely monitored early in the season. He never really got completely on track until late last season, when he averaged 20.5 points over the final 10 contests, including a career-high 47 against Dallas. He’s hoping to carry that kind of confidence this season.

“I’m good to go. I was good to go as soon as the beginning of last year,” Gallinari said. “I was not on the same page with the coach that we had.”

That would be Brian Shaw, who was fired last March after 1 1/2 seasons in charge and going 56-85. Exactly why he wasn’t on the same page with Shaw, well, Gallinari preferred the past remain the past.

“I’m ready to play the new season,” he said. “We need to win games, and get back to the same level we were before.”

Gallinari thinks the Nuggets have the personnel to do just that, especially with a rookie point guard in Emmanuel Mudiay and Gallinari’s knee feeling better than it has in a while. He feels like he has some ground to make up, too, since he said that knee robbed him of some of his prime.

“Playing my best basketball right before I got injured,” the 27-year old said. “Now, we’re back to the same level, hopefully better.

“My knee has been feeling great. It felt great last year. Feeling great during the summer. Feeling great now. I just feel good.”

He spent the summer playing for the Italian team at the EuroBasket tournament, where he averaged nearly 18 points a game. In those games, Gallinari saw quite a bit of time at the four spot on the floor, forcing teams to either use a bulkier big man to cover him and risk getting burned on a drive or a smaller player that Gallinari could simply shoot over.

Malone plans to employ a similar type approach, something they discussed over gelato when the coach visited Gallinari in Italy soon after he was hired.

“He’s 6-foot-10. He can handle the ball. He can play pick-and-roll. He can stretch the floor and shoot the 3,” Malone said. “There’s not a lot he can’t do offensively.”

Gallinari wants the responsibility of being the go-to player for the Nuggets this season, especially at crunch time.

“I’ve always been trying to do that, since I came to Denver,” Gallinari said. “That’s what I like to do. I feel good filling those shoes.

“I want to have the ball in my hands. I do want to have the ball in my hands a lot more.”