The Miami Heat really want to add a center to their roster heading into next season, thinking a big man, especially one who can put points on the board, will take care of their only weakness, and Andre Bynum might be the player they end up with.
Bynum made $16.9 million last season for sitting out the entire year with the Philadelphia 76ers. Instead of re-signing or getting a max contract a big man like him, averaging 18.7 points and 11.8 rebounds with the Lakers in 2011-2012, should get, the risk he presents is keeping teams away from making big offers.
The Miami Heat got a lot out of Chris Andersen last season, taking a shot no one else was willing to in January, eventually earning a vital piece of the bench, giving them rebounding and defense, not to mention energy and some exciting moments in the paint, for the veteran minimum. Greg Oden is also someone the Heat, but also half the NBA, are taking a look at for a big man’s spot on their roster.
So what about Bynum? No one knows for sure. He’s refusing to workout for teams. I don’t believe he’ll end up not signed anywhere, but there’s a good chance no one is going to give him more than the veteran’s minimum, which should be around $1 million for Bynum, entering his ninth NBA season (although he missed the entire 2012-2013).
The Heat can’t give him more than a mid-level exception anyway, but being the risk the he is, also in terms of his personality and behavior, the Heat will be treating this the same way when they took the risk of adding Eddy Curry (who hardly got a chance to play) and Chris Andersen. Bynum might have been the best center in the NBA in terms of offense only 12 months ago, but things change quickly, and right now, that injury issue of his is going to keep him from making a lot of money.