NBA free agency rumors: Mavericks interested in Andrew Bynum

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks have contacted center Andrew Bynum's agent with interest in signing the free agent if they cannot strike a deal for Dwight Howard.

The Dallas Mavericks, along with "several other teams," reached out to Andrew Bynum's agent just after the free agency period began Monday, according to ESPNDallas' Tim MacMahon. The Mavs see the Philadelphia 76ers free agent center as a backup plan if they can't sign top free-agent target Dwight Howard.

Bynum's agent, David Lee, did not make it clear which other teams expressed interest in his client.

Bynum sat out all of the 2012-13 season recovering from several knee issues. The prior season with the Los Angeles Lakers, the big man averaged 18.7 points per game, 11.7 rebounds and 1.9 blocks. With Bynum's health the biggest question mark, that production is the last worry for any of Bynum's suitors.

Dallas' training staff, for one, will do its due diligence in examining Bynum's knee if they make him a priority. Though Lee said Bynum will be able to play by training camp, the center won't work out for teams as part of the free agency process. He will, however, provide MRI's to team doctors, according to Yahoo! Sports.

The Mavs' training staff, led by head athletic trainer Casey Smith, has a good track record in helping injury-prone big men turn in healthy seasons. En route to building a championship, they were responsible for helping center Tyson Chandler remain on the court despite missing nearly 70 games in the two seasons before his tenure with the Mavs.

MacMahon reports that the Mavs would likely include contractual language that protects them financially should Bynum struggled with knee issues.

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