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.