The Cavaliers took a chance on Andrew Bynum, but it was a small one considering that the team signed him to a contract that is only guaranteed for $6 million, and doesn’t become fully guaranteed until after January 10.
There would seem to be an incentive for Bynum to get back on the court for the first part of the season to prove his value and get the rest of the money that could potentially be his under the most recent deal. But at the same time, if he comes back and underperforms because he isn’t yet ready to return, that could hurt his long-term chances.
It’s a tricky situation that will be monitored closely, and we’re going to hear plenty of reports as to Bynum’s readiness leading up to the season. Consider this the first, which is semi-contradictory to what Bynum himself said about his non-existent timetable to return just a couple of weeks ago.
Training camp begins Oct. 1, with the Cavs’ first preseason game a week later (vs. the Milwaukee Bucks).
One source familiar with Bynum’s progress told FOX Sports Ohio that Bynum is nowhere near ready and is likely to miss the entire preseason. He could, however, give it a go early in the regular season, if not for the opener Oct. 30 vs. the Brooklyn Nets.
So what we’re essentially saying is, Bynum isn’t yet ready, but don’t rule him out for the start of the season.
This is unfortunately the nature of injury updates in today’s NBA — we talked about how Rajon Rondo will be going through a similar news cycle as he prepares to return to the court for the Celtics.
The reality is, none of us know when these star-level players are going to be ready to make their respective debuts after undergoing rehabilitation following a serious injury. It’s unwise for teams to inflate expectations, so it’s likely that we won’t know anything until the days leading up to the player actually being cleared to be in the lineup — and we may not know for sure until the day the return has been finalized.