The Cleveland Cavaliers could be one of the teams making noise in the Eastern Conference once it’s all said and done.
Led by superstar Kyrie Irving, the Cavs have some solid pieces in Anderson Varejao, Tristan Thompson, Dion Waiters and recent No. 1 pick Anthony Bennett, who can allow them to build a solid foundation toward the future.
The key for the team this season, however, is center Andrew Bynum.
When healthy, Bynum is one of the most dominant big men in the league. After not playing at all last season with the Philadelphia 76ers, the former Los Angeles Laker signed a two-year, $24.5M deal with Cleveland hoping to get his form back.
Despite some struggles and setbacks in preseason, Bynum was able to play on the season opener against the Brooklyn Nets, and after two games, his stat line isn’t impressive: only four points and three rebounds per game in 9.2 minutes per. It’s safe to say that Bynum will get more playing time when healthy, but the fact that he was sidelined for so long can make anyone doubt about whether he’ll come back as fit as he was with the Lakers.
The Cavaliers have a premier big man with Bynum in their roster. If he’s healthy enough throughout the season, then they have have good chances of reaching the playoffs. A player of his caliber can easily be the difference between a lottery team and a lower seed in the postseason.
But again, being healthy is one of the most difficult things for Andrew Bynum.