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Andrew Bynum Leaves Lakers Return Up In The Air

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The Los Angeles Lakers were eliminated earlier than expected in the second round of the NBA Playoffs and, as is customary, TNT's Craig Sager headed to the locker room Monday night for some exit interviews with the players.

Interviews conducted just minutes after a heart-breaking loss often lead to players not quite thinking clearly, and that's what we'll blame for the answer Lakers center Andrew Bynum gave when Sager asked if he expects to sign a long-term contract.

"I'm not sure," he said. "It really doesn't matter to me. I'll play anywhere. I think for the most part I had a pretty decent season and then an OK postseason. Obviously this last game was the worst game I've probably played. It sucks, obviously, we're going fishing. My focus is next year and coming back stronger, adding things to my game."

The video and quotes, courtesy of CBS Sports' Eye on Basketball blog, are going to be interesting to Lakers fans, considering there have been numerous reports over the years that Bynum is all but untradeable -- showing a loyalty that might not go both ways.

Bynum decided to give a more PR-friendly answer to Sager's next question, however, being a bit more definitive.

"I definitely want to stay," he said. "You kind of asked an open-ended question. Obviously things are going to be different come next year. I'm going to be ready."

It will be interesting to see what happens this offseason as Bynum's $16.1 team option might not look all that appeasing when considering Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol are already being paid nearly $47 million for the 2012-13 season.

For more on the Lakers, head over to Silver Screen And Roll and SB Nation Los Angeles. For more on the Thunder, head over to Welcome To Loud City.