Cleveland Cavaliers: Andrew Bynum Will Be a Force in 2013

By Ryan Heckman


Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

After much deliberation, the Cleveland Cavaliers wound up being free agent center Andrew Bynum’s team of choice this summer. While there have been plenty of critics, doubters and flat out ‘haters’ surrounding Bynum, this move was not only necessary but a steal for the Cavs.

Bynum hasn’t played in over a year now, sitting out every game last season for the Philadelphia 76ers due to nagging knee injuries. This summer he figured to still draw plenty of attention due to what he did when he was last on the court for the Los Angeles Lakers. Even though Bynum wouldn’t work out for his prospective clubs, the Cavs still thought he was worth the gamble — and they were right.

Many view Bynum’s unwillingness to work out as a negative. However, he is likely doing it in order to stay on schedule for a full recovery. He will begin preparation for the season later this month, and is gearing up to be in the best shape possible. You can’t knock him for that.

If Bynum proves to be healthy in 2013, which I believe he will, he will go right back to being the force that he was prior to last season. Only 25 years old, Bynum should be able to do so if he has indeed taken his rehab seriously and done everything he’s been told to do during this tough time.

In his last season with the Lakers, Bynum averaged 18.7 points, 11.8 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game. The 7’0”, near 300 pound behemoth that is Bynum should be able to muscle his way back into form without blinking an eye. If his confidence is there, that’s all that matters.

He’s got an incredible advantage over most of the guys at his position, being able to exercise such a long reach and use it to perfection in whatever way needed. Blocking shots and rebounding come almost second nature for Bynum. If you remember him two years ago, you wouldn’t have a case to disagree with me.

I’m not saying that I know for a fact his health won’t be a problem. But, assuming it’s not, Bynum will take the league by storm averaging close to — if not more — than what he did in Los Angeles. With a point guard like Kyrie Irving, he will have something that he’s never really had before: A young, athletic and versatile true point guard.

Bynum and the Cavs came together on a two-year deal with plenty of incentives that can be reached if he stays healthy. With Irving running the point and Bynum staying in the lineup, there’s no telling what he could accomplish in 2013.

Ryan Heckman is a Senior NBA Writer for Follow him on Twitter  @ryanmheckman, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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