The Cleveland Cavaliers are really interested in beating everybody to the punch by securing highly-in-demand center Andrew Bynum, pressing the big man to sign with them on a big deal that is also about protecting the Cavs from the risks of injury.
After Bynum missed the entire 2012-2013 season, it’s not surprising teams are wary of adding him to their roster, especially with his demands for a high-salary, one-year deal, while refusing to participate in any workouts for interested parties.
The Cavs are willing to take the risk on Bynum with a very generous offer, giving him $24 million on a two-year deal, but with some inhibitions.
The contract is with a team option on the second year, to both give them a chance to get rid of him if his injury gets in the way of his comeback, while stopping Bynum from bolting into the 2014 free agency market. The way Bynum sees it, he’s just as good as he was before the injury, and he should be getting a maximum contract from someone. In order to allow that, he doesn’t want to commit for more than one season with his next team.
The Cavs, however, do throw in some incentives in the contract, according to Yahoo, probably regarding completing training camp and reaching a certain level of minutes and games next season. While Bynum did miss the entire season last year, it wasn’t his first brush with injury problems.
The 2006-2007 season was the only time in which he played a full season, or even more than 65 games, not missing a single one that year. He played in 65 games for the Lakers in 2011-2012, his best season so far (18.7 points, 11.8 rebounds), but that was the shortened season, and means Bynum was a risk even before the Philadelphia 76ers took an unfortunate chance on him.