The Cleveland Cavaliers suspended center Andrew Bynum for conduct detrimental to the team, according to Yahoo! Sports, and the Cavs have promptly placed him on the trade block. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst in reporting that the Miami Heat are on Bynum’s radar.
If Bynum is traded and waived, there would be plenty of interest in him as a free agent. The Los Angeles Clippers and Miami Heat are two teams on the lookout for size. Even with Greg Oden’s long-term project in Miami, Bynum is much farther along in his recovery and would likely entice the Heat if they could clear a roster spot.
Bill Simmons seconded the report.
4 – Also hearing he'd consider Boston – Celts have expirings/assets to get him (if they wanted him). His ideal teams are Miami/Clips though.
— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) December 28, 2013
Windhorst goes into greater detail about Bynum’s contract, but, in a nutshell, his deal is very flexible. A team, like the Heat, could rent him for the season.
Bynum signed a two-year contract for $24.8 million with the Cavs, but only $6 million of it is guaranteed before Jan. 7. After that date, the full $12.25 million this season is guaranteed. Next season’s $12.5 million is not guaranteed until July 10.
It is also possible that Cleveland could release Bynum before January 7, when he will be due more money. Windhorst reports, though, that Cleveland would rather wait and trade him by the February 20 deadline.
The Heat are in need of an interior presence. Greg Oden’s recovery is not a guarantee and they have struggled mightily against top-tier centers this season–and not just Roy Hibbert. Since the 7-game Pacers playoff series, teams have seeminly focused even more on attacking Miami in the middle this season.
In limited time, Bynum has been effective for Cleveland, recording 8.4 points and 5.3 rebounds per 15.44 minutes this season.
Bynum’s on- and off-court issues are real. However, the Heat locker room has done wonders for Michael Beasley and Chris Andersen, what’s stopping Bynum for getting an NBA makeover?
If Bynum is indeed on the trade block, Pat Riley is likely intrigued. We will see if a trade between the Heat and Cavaliers again swings the Heat’s way.