Cleveland, forever to be known as the city two-time NBA champion LeBron James spurned, announced it had agree on a deal with free agent center Andrew Bynum. Yes, the same Andrew Bynum who sat out last season (knee injury) in Philadelphia, this after coming to the City of Brotherly Love from Los Angeles.
The deal means Bynum is guaranteed $6 million out of a potential nearly $25 million deal over two years, a contract that is heavy on incentives. So, too much money for a big man who may have the knees of a man much older than his current age of 25.
Cavaliers Have a History of Mediocrity
The Cavaliers, who re-hired former head coach Mike Brown to replace Byron Scott, have only ever made one trip to the NBA Finals, that of course being their 2007 visit with James, where they were easily knocked out by San Antonio.
Since their inception in the league in 1970, the Cavs sport a record of 1,585 wins and 1,893 losses, with three division titles to their credit.
Okay, you get the point, this franchise has not exactly matched the success of the Celtics and Lakers (combined 33 titles) over the years. That being said, signing Bynum doesn’t appear to be a step forward until you break down the finances involved.
Yes, the Cavaliers did pick first in the recent NBA Draft, getting Anthony Bennett, who will team with 2011-12 Rookie of the Year Kyrie Irving. There is even talk of James returning to Cleveland in the summer of 2014 when he will be a free agent.
Even though there are some young pieces in place to be competitive in the Eastern Conference down the road, forking over $6 million to Bynum, may be outrageous to many around the league, but it may not be the worst move in the world.
Keep in mind, sources claim Cleveland views the $6 million guarantee as a relatively minimal risk, especially given it is not all that often that a former All-Star center is available on the market. Bynum came through with career bests of 18.7 points and 11.8 rebounds during his first All-Star selection as a member of the Lakers in the 2011-12 campaign.
While both Atlanta and Dallas were also reportedly interested in Bynum’s services, Cleveland gets the prize.
Then again, it could be a white elephant gift that comes around each Christmas, those gifts that not many people want to keep when all is said and done.
About the Author: With 23 years’ experience, Dave Thomas covers news and sports for various websites, along with writing on businessmen like David Kiger.