Two of the biggest names left on the free agent market have been taken off the board, as the Cleveland Cavaliers were the ones to take a risk on Andrew Bynum and sign him, while the Milwaukee Bucks added yet another talented guard to their cadre, signing Jeff Teague.
Teague, unlike Bynum, is a restricted free agent, which means the Atlanta Hawks still have a few days to match the offer given to the point guard, but it is more than likely they’ll turn down the option of bringing him back.
Cavs and the Andrew Bynum Risk
Even though the Cleveland Cavaliers signed Andrew Bynum to a two-year, $24 million deal, only $6 million of that contract is guaranteed. Yes, despite being one of the few players in NBA history to post at least 18.7 points, 11.8 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game at the age of 24 or younger, there isn’t that much trust in him to be back to his old ways from before the injury that put him down for an entire season.
Bynum will have to reach a variety of health- and games-related benchmarks to collect the full $12 million in the first year of the deal, while the Cavs hold a team option worth $12 million over the next season. Bynum was looking for a one-year, high paying deal, but no team was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, eventually leaving him with the only team that made him an offer. Both the Dallas Mavericks and the Atlanta Hawks met with Bynum, but didn’t give him an offer.
Milwaukee Bucks Very Close to Jeff Teague
Being a restricted free agent means he can still go back to the Hawks, but he has signed the Bucks’ offer sheet (four years, $32 million), meaning he would like to play in Milwaukee next to O.J. Mayo. The initial way of approaching this was the sign and trade talks between the two teams, involving both Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings, but nothing happened there, so the Bucks simply made the first move and gave Teague an offer sheet.
On paper, it seems the Bucks are letting go of two guards and filling the vacancies with slightly less players in O.J. Mayo and Teague, who averaged 14.6 points and 7.2 assists last season, but due to the obvious weaknesses both Jennings and Ellis bring to the table, without the willingness to change them, the Bucks might be getting the better part of the probable exchange.