Andrew Bynum Is A Risk Worth Taking for the Los Angeles Lakers

By Joseph Crevier
Kobe Bryant
Noah Graham-Getty Images

It is no question that Andrew Bynum has been sort of a joke league-wide these past couple seasons since being traded by the Los Angeles Lakers. Bynum was shipped to the Philadelphia 76ers where fans were expecting a potential franchise player, but instead they received an injury plagued big man who lacked the desire to get back on the court. After cutting their losses, the 76ers moved on allowing Bynum to sign a two-year/$24 million contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers, which was luckily only partially guaranteed.

Not seeming to learn his lesson, Bynum was suspended indefinitely for reportedly shooting the ball every single time he got his hands on it in practice leading to him being traded once again, this time to the Chicago Bulls. Chicago had no intention of retaining Bynum once he was acquired, so instead it simply waived him in order to save cap room as the remaining $20 million or so on his contract was not guaranteed.

Once again, he received another chance when signing a minimum deal to suit up for the contending Indiana Pacers before being released come playoff time. Ultimately, Bynum is now left without a job in the NBA, possibly for good.

Here’s where the tide turns a bit. Recently, while walking through LAX airport, a reporter questioned Bynum a bit regarding his future and a potential reunion to play in Los Angeles. The former All-Star casually responded, stating he would be open to playing in Los Angeles once again, preferably with the Lakers.

Now, would Mitch Kupchak be open to taking back the troubled big man? I’m not so sure. However, if push comes to shove, he may be the best short-term option available if the team wants to preserve its cap space.

Few teams will likely be interested in Bynum, so the ball will really be in the Lakers’ court. The center position is wide open as of now and if healthy, Bynum may be able to resurrect his career aside former teammate, Kobe Bryant, who will certainly not put up with any of his antics and I’m sure he is fully aware of that at this point in his career. But perhaps a few familiar faces are all he needs to feel comfortable and perform to the best of his ability.

Let’s not forget how productive a player he was in his final year in Los Angeles. Aside from averaging nearly 19 points and 12 rebounds per game, Bynum was in the conversation to be the league’s best center in a neck-and-neck race alongside Dwight Howard.

Yes, there was actually an argument as to who was the better center, both sides having valid points. So hey, maybe he can reach that level one last time in his career even with barely any knees left. If he can help the team win games, I’m all for taking the risk. On a side note, it would also give me reasonable cause to finally wear my Andrew Bynum jersey outside of the house again.

Joseph Crevier covers the Los Angeles Lakers for Follow him on Twitter, @RealJoeCrev, and Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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