Let’s put it kindly — there is great skepticism around the league that Andrew Bynum can or will contribute much as an NBA player this season or ever again in the future. Yes, his knees that have been a chronic problem and kept him out all of last season. More than that, however, are questions about Bynum’s passion for the game or willingness to really work and fight through the injuries to bounce back. Former teammates of his are not sold.
That doesn’t mean the risk Cleveland took in signing him was a bad one — the $6 million guaranteed with incentives and the second season at a team option makes this a fair gamble. The upside is worth the risk.
I’m just saying Cavaliers fans should not get their hopes up.
Look at what Bynum’s agent David Lee told the Cleveland Plain Dealer about Bynum’s choice not to work out for teams during free agency.
“There was no reason to have him work out,” Lee said. “His skill level’s not in question, so there’s no reason to work out. The reality is he has not picked up the ball in some time and he has to get his weight down. He’s got to lose probably about 15 pounds, which is not a big deal. But to get on the floor you’ve got to reduce your weight, otherwise you risk injury.”
Lee said Bynum will be back for training camp. I wouldn’t bet the rent money on that. I wouldn’t bet the price of a can of warm Pabst Blue Ribbon on him being ready for camp.
This is a good gamble for the Cavaliers — Bynum when last healthy was an All-Star who averaged 18.7 points and 11.8 rebounds a game. If they get production anywhere near that, even half that, there is value.
Just don’t expect much.