It may not be too early to call Andrew Bynum a bust.
The Los Angeles Lakers’ fans wouldn’t mind. Nor would the Philadelphia 76ers.
It’s hard to call it a wrap. Bynum’s only 25. He’s only been in the league for seven years and played in only one complete 82-game season (2006-2007). But, that’s the thing, he’s only played more than 60 games twice in his career and missed all of the 2012-13 campaign.
For his new team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, the risk is rather low. Only $6 million guaranteed for Bynum’s two-year deal. It’s incentive-laden and may net him $24 million. The Cavaliers also have a history of heartbreak in injured big man with Anderson Varejao in tow. The story of Bynum missing time will not be a surprising for the fan base, it’s more of the same. But, if Bynum emerges healthy and plays in 60 games, it’s an absolute steal. Remember, this was the sole name that nabbed Dwight Howard. And if he does play, the Cavs have a real shot to make some noise in the playoffs.
But, he’s hurt. The latest news is that Bynum is not healthy enough to give it a go in the preseason from the same knee issues that plagued him last year in Philadelphia.
So, he’s injured again and he’s never played an entire season. He’s also a big man with knee injuries, maturity concerns, and defensive lapses. There are safer projects (Nerlens Noel, I’m looking at you). Let’s skip the hype of the Shaquille O’Neal replacement, the potential, and the great blocks, and understand that the health concerns are real. He may be that same 18 points, 11.8 rebounds a game monster that the Lakers saw in 2011, but he won’t be that guy for an entire season. Not with the injuries and the speed of the league.
We want to love you Bynum. We want to hope that you’re back and that the Cleveland situation and more rehabilitation will help. We do. But, how can we?
Photo credit by Keith Allison/Wikimedia Commons
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