The Cleveland Cavalivers have seemingly all but given up on the Andrew Bynum experiment as the former All-Star Center has been excused from the team. The Cavs had initially suspended him for “conduct detrimental to the team”, but that was later changed into paid leave instead. Though the organisation hasn’t exactly been clear on what specifically drove Bynum to be suspended/excused from the team, which has led to much speculation.
While citing a league source, Yahoo Sports claimed that, “He doesn’t want to play basketball anymore,” and that seems to go along the lines of what Hall of Famer and former mentor Kareem Abdul Jabbar, argued by saying, Bynum lacks the commitment to continue playing at this highest level.
Cavaliers Shooting Guard, Dion Waiters has probably shared the most light on the matter by comparing the big fella’s situation to that of Michael Jordan’s when he decided to go and play baseball instead, suggesting that Bynum had fallen out of love with the game. Although he did admit that the Center wasn’t exactly one to spill his heart out and let everyone know what was going on in his life.
No matter what the case may be, looks like ‘Drew is headed for the exit doors. But as you would expect for such a talented player, when one door closes, another one opens.
Would the Miami Heat please stand up?
Miami would no doubt be certainly interested in acquiring his services and there have already been reports that they are monitoring the situation very carefully. Andrew Bynum could go a long way to helping Miami against teams with a towering presence, namely the Indiana Pacers and Roy Hibbert in the Eastern Conference. Who knows, maybe he could even help the NBA’s worst rebounding team improve upon their pitiful 36.3 rebounds per game.
Sure he may come with some baggage but it’s not like Miami hasn’t dealt with similar situations before.
The two-time defending champions have built somewhat of a reputation as the rehabilitation team in the NBA for “troubled” individuals, just look at the Michael Beasley. The former number two overall Draft pick struggled both on the court with his play and had plenty of incidents off it. Yet now Beasley has accepted a diminished role within an elite organisation, even though he knows he could bring so much more to the table, and is playing hard on both ends of the court when or if his number is called. To top it all off, he is behaving himself in South Beach, a place where ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith labelled the modern day Sodom and Gomorrah.
Perhaps the reason why Andrew Bynum has seemed so disinterested is because he isn’t playing for a contender, therefore he lacks the drive to play hard or take matters seriously. His former coach weighed in on the situation via his Twitter account by saying; “I’m reluctant to judge Bynum’s basketball intent. He is a man of many interests and has a life outside of basketball, but he does like to compete.” So perhaps going to a team like the Miami Heat could rekindle that competitive drive the Zen Master was speaking off.
Problem is Miami is already at full capacity so they would have to get cut or trade someone in order to take a chance on Bynum, but who? The bulk of majority of the Miami Heat squad have guaranteed contracts, therefore team President Pat Riley, will be reluctant to release them. The only players without guaranteed contracts are Greg Oden, Michael Beasley and Roger Mason Jr, however all three hold some sort of value. Beasley is currently the offensive spark Miami turn to and he is the team’s fourth leading scorer at 11.1 points per game despite only being eighth in minutes played at 19.1 per game.
With Dwyane Wade’s injuries, Roger Mason Jr has become near enough an indispensable player because he has the ability to handle the ball from time to time and provide cover if Wade or any of the point guards are out, so until Miami has cover, Riley will try to stay away from dealing him.
Greg Oden inches ever closer to an NBA return with the Heat and has already assimilated with the team culture, cutting him to make room for Andrew Bynum may be risky since it’s not guaranteed the move will work out. And if there was a scenario where Miami would be without both players, they would be right back to square one again.
Nonetheless, you can almost guarantee Miami will make a play for Bynum and would jump at a shot to have him among their ranks, even with the warning signs from his time in Los Angeles, i.e. this incident which landed him in a little bit of hot water. But no matter how troubled he gets. No matter how disruptive he is, Andrew Bynum will always have a team waiting to take a chance on him despite the risks that come along with his services. After all, skilled 7 footers don’t grow on trees every day.