When Andrew Bynum was traded from the Cavaliers to the Bulls and then immediately waived in a move to shed salary, several teams, including the Miami Heat, reportedly expressed initial interest in acquiring his services.
The East is unquestionably going to come down to a battle between the Heat and the Pacers, so Indiana must keep close tabs on any potential personnel changes that may be looming in Miami that could widen the talent gap and put the Heat in a stronger position to reach the Finals for a fourth straight season.
It makes sense, then, that the Pacers have joined the list of interested parties where Bynum is concerned.
Andrew Bynum latest: Hear Clips leaning away from idea of signing Bynum for now AND that Indy is among teams to express exploratory interest
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) January 12, 2014
The Pacers are such a problem for the Heat because of the size of Roy Hibbert, who dominates in stretches on both ends of the floor when the two teams are matched up. No one on Miami’s roster can legitimately guard Hibbert, and defensively he protects the rim from LeBron James and Dwyane Wade better than just about any of the league’s individual defenders.
Adding another seven-footer in Bynum may push Indiana over the top against the Heat, and on Miami’s side, Bynum (if engaged) could be enough of a counter against Hibbert to lessen the Pacers’ very real threat. The Heat already have Greg Oden, however, who appears to be getting closer to a return and by all accounts has looked very strong in workouts.
Stein also reported that no formal offer has been made by the Pacers, and that’s the way it should remain — unless it appears that the Heat may be getting close to pulling the trigger, at which time Indiana will strongly need to consider the option.