Andrew Bynum was introduced to the media in Cleveland on Friday, and appeared as relaxed as we’ve seen him in quite some time.
The reason is that after an entire year of failing to meet even the most basic of expectations in Philadelphia due to injury, and being badgered consistently with questions about a return to the court that would ultimately never come as a member of the Sixers, Bynum finds himself in a new situation, and expects to be able to contribute to his new team immediately.
When asked if he’d be ready for training camp and how many games he thought he could play this year, Bynum’s response makes you wonder if he’s ever heard the phrase, “under-promise, but over-deliver.”
“I want to play a full season,” Bynum said. “There is no doubt in my mind that I can do that. Yes, I’m going to be ready. That is the plan. As long as I stick to it, I really believe that I have a great chance with this organization.”
The statement is relatively harmless in its optimism, and the expectation would be that once Bynum is medically cleared, that of course he should be able to continue to play without issue, barring a future setback.
But remember, Bynum has played all 82 games only once in his eight NBA seasons (counting last year when he didn’t play at all), and has appeared in 60, 54, 65, 50, and 35 games looking back at his last five years in Los Angeles.
There is, however, some additional motivation for Bynum to get healthy and stay that way, which will include dropping his weight — which he said was now at 305 — down to a more reasonable 280 or so. His two-year deal for $24 million is only guaranteed for $6 million, and Bynum will need to meet a number of performance benchmarks in order to earn the entire sum.