“There’s a bank in every city.”
Those were the words that Andrew Bynum had uttered after getting traded to the Philadelphia 76ers last summer. Now, after a week or so of more trade rumors, he was traded again – this time by the Cleveland Cavaliers early Tuesday morning. He was then waived by the Chicago Bulls, an expected move that saved the team more than $20 million in cap space and netted three future draft picks. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst has the Los Angeles Clippers, Miami Heat and New York Knicks as the three teams that could make an offer to Bynum once he clears waivers by the end of the week.
Below is a look at Bynum’s role with each of his potential suitors.
The Clippers already have DeAndre Jordan who has improved this year to be one of the top five rebounders in the league, so Bynum would come off the bench. What separates Bynum from Jordan though (and Blake Griffin) is his ability to score from the post on a consistent basis and does not need guards to create for him. Without question, the Clippers could slow the game down and play a half-court game built around Bynum from the inside out. His knees will never be the same and people question if he should just walk away from the game at 26, but giving Bynum 20 minutes a game and plenty of touches would allow him to remain productive, and interested.
Bynum would be the best big man that LeBron James has played with in his entire career (Shaquille O’Neal was 37 years old in his one season in Cleveland). For the past two seasons, the Heat have been able to squeak by and win two championships without a legit inside presence. With the Indiana Pacers having Roy Hibbert and David West, Bynum could defend Hibbert much better than Chris Bosh ever has, as Hibbert has his best games against the Heat. Between James, Dwyane Wade, Eric Spoelstra and Pat Riley, the team has the championship pedigree and leadership that can hold Bynum accountable and get him to play as close to the 2011 Bynum as possible (if healthy) who was arguably one of the top two centers in the game.
The Knicks are ranked second to last in rebounding and with Tyson Chandler’s health a cause for concern going forward, Bynum could be counted on for inside scoring off the bench. Quite simply, the Knicks big men shoot too many jumpers. A’mare Stoudemire is a shell of his former self and Andrea Bargnani is a European style forward more comfortable on the perimeter. Enter Bynum. He was comfortable in a big market like Los Angeles … would he be the same in New York?