Andrew Bynum agreed to terms with the Cleveland Cavaliers on a two-year contract that will guarantee him $6 million on Tuesday. Let's hope his tenure with the Cavs doesn't wind and weave like it did with the Philadelphia 76ers this past season.
For those that don't remember -- or want to cringe while re-remembering -- here are the major developments over the past year involving the talented center.
May 22, 2012: Bynum is asked about his upcoming free agency and future plans after the Lakers lose 4-1 to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the playoffs. He doesn't sound too optimistic about it.
June 5, 2012: The Lakers put Bynum's fate in their hands for at least another year, exercising his team option.
Gut reaction: I love this deal. Regardless of Bynum resigning... This is a huge step towards a championship. Not "relevance". A championship.
Aug. 14, 2012: Bynum is "beyond thrilled" to be a Sixer.
October 1, 2012 -- This is the beginning of the knee injury issues. It was reported that Bynum went to Germany to receiver Orthokine treatment, something that swirls blood in your knee to fill it with healing platelets. It was termed as non-invasive, precautionary treatment that would keep Bynum off the court for three weeks.
October 10, 2012 -- News came out that Bynum's knee injury might be a bit more serious than initially reported. Liberty Ballers' Michael Levin was optimistic about the news, however.
I suppose the only potential benefit of this is the knowledge that they're not rushing him back. His long-term health is paramount to any additional success this season, despite the looming maximum contract on the horizon. I would rather five and a half great years of Bynum than six injured ones.
October 14, 2012 -- News comes out that Bynum's having a previously-scheduled knee operation. It got a little bit dicey, though, because the Sixers were deciding to announce that he was having a previously scheduled surgery rather than announcing it at the time it was originally scheduled -- leading some to believe it wasn't ever originally scheduled.
October 30, 2012 -- The Sixers announce that there isn't a timetable set for Bynum to return to practice after originally saying that he'd be ready in time for Oct. 24. Whoops.
November 12, 2012 -- News came out that Bynum might not be able to go until January after an MRI extended his timetable an additional three weeks. He was originally expected to miss four weeks, but the timetable has since been pushed back several times.
Liberty Ballers did not take the news well, but reasoned that "he's the franchise. We want him healthy for years to come and it doesn't make sense to waste it in a year they're likely not going to win anything anyway."
November 13, 2012 -- Bynum says he always planned to return at some point in January. Right.
November 14, 2012 -- Andrew Bynum has funny hair. Knee status remains unchanged, probably.
November 18, 2012 -- This is where it gets ugly, as reports suggest Bynum injured his knee while bowling.
November 24, 2012 -- Bynum is again out indefinitely, with no return in sight. This saddens Liberty Ballers' Levin.
As to whether or not the team will have Bynum at all this season is totally unknown. We had no idea any of this was imminent back in August when the trade was made and I would like to go back and punch my optimistic self in the throat, Neeson style...
As to a contract in the offseason: I don't want to guess. There's a strong possibility that he walks and never puts a Sixers uniform on.
December 21, 2012 -- The Sixers delayed a press conference intended to update their center's status, and then basically said nothing. "Healing well" and "increase activity" are as non-committal as non-committal can be.
January 14, 2013 -- Bynum practiced (or, as Liberty Ballers put it, he took jumpers, sweated a little, and didn't break his knees) and seemed to be nearing court time. Specifically, Bynum said he was "getting ready to play."
January 18, 2013 -- Bynum still has crazy hair.
January 22, 2013 -- The Sixers bought Bynum a $60,000 anti-gravity treadmill so he could work out without putting weight on his knees, but it didn't work particularly well -- in Bynum's words, it needed service "every three days or so."
January 28, 2013 -- Bynum was scheduled to practice "soon." The words seemed encouraging.
"It's exciting, definitely. You can see it in his body language," DiLeo said.
Bynum stated that he is ahead of schedule and that the pain is subsiding.
"We're very encouraged," coach Doug Collins said. "The most important thing is he's encouraged."
January 30, 2013 -- Bynum's hair isn't quite as crazy.
February 1, 2013 -- Just kidding, it's still pretty crazy.
February 19, 2013 -- Ummm, his hair is still crazy.
February 23, 2013 -- I advise reading this post just to see how happy Sixers fans were, if only for a brief moment, when news surfaced of Bynum practicing.
WE INTERRUPT THIS STORY FOR THIS CLIP OF ME SQUEALING.
However, there was foreshadowing:
We'll spend the next few days hoping Andrew's knees don't swell up too bad after playing and that this can become a semi-consistent thing. I have knee lube on hand if need be.
March 1, 2013 -- Bynum's knee swelled up again, about a week after practicing with his team for the first time. This is the first time he said the pain might prevent him from playing in the 2012-2013 season.
March 18, 2013 -- Bynum has season-ending surgery. Oof.
May 1, 2013 -- Just a few short months after he wasn't healthy enough to practice on a basketball court and weeks after knee surgery ... flamenco dancing.
Fine, let's keep doing this. No, great, I don't mind at all. Once you've already had one leg, both arms, and your eyelids chopped off, what's another leg lost? Here we go, torsos.
Even after the most wretched season in the history of Sixers basketball and possibly basketball in general, we still have to endure this. We haven't had enough, guys.
June 25, 2013 -- Bynum completes rehab, expects to get back to workouts soon. SB Nation's Rodger Sherman has more:
As for where he'll play, the Sixers don't seem to be a huge priority, and the 2012 All-Star doesn't seem a huge priority for the Sixers. Lee said he hasn't had conversations with the team and doesn't expect to reach an agreement before the window opens, while Hinkie's introductory press conference featured some non-committal statements that weren't particularly high on Bynum. For what it's worth, SB Nation's Liberty Ballers is not interested in the return of Bynum.
July 10, 2013 -- He chose the Cavs.