Andrew Bynum has made his decision (or was the decision made for him?) and has signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The move to Cleveland will certainly have an effect on the fantasy basketball value of not only Bynum, but his new teammates as well.
In Bynum’s one year with the Philadelphia 76ers, the big man did not see the court. He missed the entire 2012-13 season with knee issues and has dealt with more than his fair share of injuries throughout his career.
Now, Bynum moves to Cleveland where he joins a talented young lineup that could dominate should the 25-year-old manage to stay on the court. Staying healthy is a huge ‘if’ for Bynum, but when he is he has more fantasy upside than most centers.
The teammate that should be affected the most is veteran C Anderson Varejao, who would likely be moved to the bench. Varejao was having a monster year last season and averaged 14.1 points and 14.4 rebounds per game before his season ended in December. He won’t be able to put up numbers like that again this year when Bynum is healthy, but can still be a serviceable backup center for your fantasy squad and his value would increase should Bynum get hurt again.
Forward Tristan Thompson is coming off a breakout season in which he averaged 11.7 points and 9.4 rebounds. His rebounding numbers shot up when Varejao — a monster on the glass — went down last year. Bynum isn’t quite the rebounder Varejao is, so Thompson’s numbers on the boards should benefit.
Taking Bynum in your fantasy draft this year is certainly a risk, and if by the time your draft comes around he’s ready to go, he may not be available for cheap. Don’t reach for Bynum, but if the value is there after the first few rounds, grab him.