LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 12: Andrew Bynum #17 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts in the fourth quarter while taking on the Denver Nuggets in Game Seven of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on May 12, 2012 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Lakers Exercise Andrew Bynum's Contract Option For Next Season

Andrew Bynum looks like he'll be wearing a Los Angeles Lakers jersey once again next season as the team announced on Monday that they've exercised the center's contract option for next season.

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Andrew Bynum Earns Extension, But Will He Play It Out With Lakers?

Andrew Bynum was already being paid pretty handsomely under his current contract, but it should come as no surprise that the Los Angeles Lakers picked up their team option for the 2012-13 season. The young center, who made $14.9 million last season, is now under contract for $16.1 million next year.

Now that the Lakers have locked Bynum up for another season, however, the question has shifted to whether he'll play that season in Los Angeles. Los Angeles Times reporter Mike Bresnahan wrote on Monday that there's a chance Bynum might be moved to the trade block considering he's one of the team's few attractive assets.

How long he's with the Lakers beyond that becomes the question. Bynum, 24, will be in the last season of a four-year, $57.2-million contract. Negotiations on an extension had not begun, though that could happen soon. If he doesn't re-sign with the Lakers, he will be an unrestricted free agent after next season.

Either way, Bynum remains one of the Lakers' two tradable assets.

It might seem futile to discuss a trade so soon after a contract extension is announced, but that's the reality of today's NBA -- especially when it comes to players who can soon turn into unrestricted free agents. If the Lakers don't believe they'll re-sign Bynum, it's better to get whatever assets he's worth while they still have that opportunity.

For more on the Lakers, head over to Silver Screen And Roll and SB Nation Los Angeles.

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