Andrew Bynum has done a lot of traveling as of late and that trend continued this weekend as he signed with the Indiana Pacers. Bynum signed with the Pacers for one million for the remainder of the season.
The signing with Indiana marks Bynum’s third team this season, and fifth in the last two years. Bynum was originally drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers in 2005 with the 10th overall pick. He won back-to-back championships with the Lakers in 2009-2010. During his time with the Lakers, Bynum was said to have the potential to be one of the best centers in the league. In 2012 Bynum had a career year as he averaged 18.7 points and 11.8 rebounds and was selected to his first all-star game. That following season he was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers as the Lakers made room for the signing of Dwight Howard.
Bynum was signed by the 76ers to bring in size and championship experience to a young up and coming squad. Bynum did not play a single game for the 76ers in 2013 due to multiple ailing knee injuries. The following offseason Bynum was signed to a two-year contract by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Bynum played 24 games this season with the Cavaliers averaging 8.4 points and 5.3 rebounds during that span. Shortly before the New Year Bynum was suspended by the Cavs for conduct detrimental to the team. He was put on waivers by the Cavs shortly after.
Bynum’s year of travels continued when he was shipped off along with a few draft picks to the Chicago Bulls for all-star wingman, Luol Deng. The Bulls then waived Bynum a mere two days later. Which takes us to today, and the signing of Bynum to the Indiana Pacers.
Why would the team who already has an all-star center in Roy Hibbert sign a player like Andrew Bynum? It is simple, the only team that the Indiana Pacers seem to fear in the east, is the two-time defending champion Miami Heat. The main weakness of the Miami Heat is size and rebounding. The Pacers, as well as other teams across the league, are looking to take advantage of this.
The Heat added Greg Oden to their roster in the offseason to help improve their rebounding, but Oden cannot provide starters minutes and has had a long history of injuries to both his knees. This season Miami ranks 19th in the league in defensive rebounding and 30th in the league in offensive rebounding. The Pacers signed Bynum hoping that he will provide just enough minutes to give Roy Hibbert a rest in the playoffs and allow the team to keep their size advantage on the floor.
There were several teams interested in signing Andrew Bynum and one of them was in fact, the Heat. There is also speculation that the Pacers may have also signed Bynum solely to keep him off of the Heat’s roster. Perhaps Bynum’s year of travels will end in Indiana and his image as an elite big man will be revived; Larry Bird and the Pacers organization are certainly hoping so.
By Eric Kummel