Andrew Bynum reportedly wants a one-year contract to prove he's capable of playing in the NBA at a high level before hitting the free agent market again. The Cleveland Cavaliers are pushing him to take a deal that could last two years, however, so that he can join a youth movement featuring a pair of recent No. 1 picks.
The Cavs want Bynum to sign a two-year, $24-million offer, with a team option on the second year, according to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski. That contract would be a win-win for the Cavs: if he's not ready to go, they pay him $12 million at a time that they already have the free cap space to pay him and then they're done with him. If he's as good as he's been in the past, however, they get the ability to bring back a potential max player at a discount price.
The 25-year-old Bynum made nearly $17 million this past season.
The Cavs join the Mavericks and the Hawks as teams reportedly in the hunt for Bynum, a player that made the All-Star Game for the first time in 2011-2012 and then never took the court last year, his lone year with the Philadelphia 76ers. The question for all of these teams is whether or not the talented big man with chronic knee issues will be healthy enough to make a significant impact.
The last time Bynum was healthy, he averaged a very solid double-double with 18.7 points and 11.8 rebounds. His injury last year dragged on and on and on and on, however -- take a peek at SB Nation's story stream which tracks the situation from mediocre to bad to worse to horrific -- and knee issues with big men aren't the type of thing that gets better overnight. The Cavs' plan for a one-year deal with an option for a second seems rather low-risk, though, all things considered.
The Cavs have young talent in Kyrie Irving and Anthony Bennett to go with oodles and oodles of cap space. Their big signing thus far this offseason, though, has been Jarrett Jack ... which isn't exactly pushing the needle.
Cleveland could couple Bynum with Anderson Varejao, who missed the end of last season with a blood clot. That would be a shockingly viable frontcourt for a squad that started promising, unpolished youngsters Tristan Thompson and Tyler Zeller for large stretches of last year.