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Andrew Bynum: Concerns about my work ethic are ‘nonsense’

Andrew Bynum CavaliersFor a guy who just disappointed all of Philadelphia by missing an entire season because of knee injuries, Andrew Bynum sure knows how to boost a team’s expectations.

The new Cleveland Cavaliers center got fans excited by saying at his introductory press conference on Friday that the Cavs are “definitely” a playoff team. He also dismissed concerns about his work ethic as “nonsense,” and overall sounded like the complete opposite of the flake he appeared to be with the Los Angeles Lakers.

“I’m just ready to work. I’m going to stay in this gym as much as possible,” Bynum told the Cleveland media on Friday.

“I really believe I have a great chance with this organization. I can bring leadership, I can bring experience. We have an opportunity to do something special. We have the talent, and now all it’s going to take is the work. I think everybody with the team — especially myself — is ready to put that in.”

Bynum ready to work hard? Is this the same Andrew Bynum from the Lakers we’re talking about? The same Andrew Bynum one of his ex-teammates described as nobody in the league “likes basketball less”? Yes it is. The entire theme to Bynum’s press conference was about working hard.

“Going forward, I want to get back to All-Star level and work extremely hard and get this team into the playoffs and make some noise,” he said.

Our friend Scott Sargent of Waiting for Next Year asked if concerns about his work ethic were unwarranted, and Bynum said that was the case.

“Completely. I worked really hard to get to where I am. I continue to work hard,” said Bynum, who described the concerns as “nonsense.”

Bynum also said he was looking forward to teaming with former rookie of the year point guard Kyrie Irving.

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Andrew Bynum agrees to two-year contract with Cavaliers

Andrew Bynum Don King hairAndrew Bynum is headed to Cleveland, just like he told one of the team’s fans at the airport earlier this week.

The injury-plagued center has agreed to a two-year deal with the Cavaliers that is worth a possible $24.5 million, per Yahoo!’s Adrian Wojnarowski. $6 million is guaranteed, and Bynum reportedly could earn as much as $6 million more this season if he meets incentives. The team will hold a $12.5 million option on Bynum for the 2014-2015 season.

Bynum chose the Cavaliers’ deal after meeting with Cleveland, Atlanta, and Dallas on consecutive days. He missed the entire season with multiple injuries after being traded from the Los Angeles Lakers to the Philadelphia 76ers.

The Cavs view this is a low-risk move despite Bynum’s health issues. They reportedly feel it is rare that they would have a chance to sign a player of his capability and are taking advantage. The other interesting part of the deal is that ESPN and Yahoo! both report that the Cavs believe the presence of Bynum along with former Rookie of the Year Kyrie Irving can help them make a free agent pitch to LeBron James, who can become a free agent next year.

Cavaliers reportedly offer Andrew Bynum $24 million deal

Andrew BynumThe Cleveland Cavaliers have about $15 million in cap space, and they are looking to spend some of that money. It sounds like the player they are most interested in is free agent center Andrew Bynum.

Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Cavaliers have offered Bynum a two-year, $24 million incentive-based deal. The second year of the contract would be a team option, and we don’t know what kind of incentives are included. Bynum missed all of last season because of multiple knee injuries, so he may not get a stronger offer.

Woj says the Cavs are pushing to hear back from Bynum quickly because they would be interested in Andrei Kirilenko or Elton Brand if they are unable to land the oft-injured center. Bynum met with the Cavs on Monday and then headed to Atlanta to meet with the Hawks. As we told you earlier on Monday, the Dallas Mavericks are also reportedly interested in Bynum.

For what it’s worth, a fan says he saw Bynum at the airport and claims Bynum told him he was headed to Cleveland.

You can’t count on Bynum for more than 50 games next season, but this deal probably wouldn’t be bad for the Cavs. What other moves could they make?

Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks reportedly interested in Andrew Bynum

Andrew-Bynum-hairIf Andrew Bynum signs with a team other than the Philadelphia 76ers this offseason, his stat sheet from his time in Philly will be completely blank. The Sixers gave up a great deal to pry Bynum away from the Los Angeles Lakers last year, but injuries prevented him from appearing in a single game. Should he sign with another team, Philly would have absolutely nothing to show for the trade.

According to ESPN.com, that may happen. The Cleveland Cavaliers are considered to be “legitimate contenders” to sign Bynum, particularly if he is interested in signing a one-year deal. Cleveland currently has around $15 million in cap space but would like to save future space to pursue free agents like LeBron James next summer, so a big-money, one-year deal would suit the team nicely.

[Related: Philly DA wants to investigate Andrew Bynum for fraud]

And the Cavs aren’t the only potential suitors for Bynum. The Dallas Mavericks reportedly began courting Bynum after missing out on Dwight Howard on Friday. However, sources told ESPN.com that the Mavs have launched an “exhaustive” evaluation process of Bynum and are trying to figure out if his ailing knees are healthy enough to justify a long-term contract. If he cuts back on the bowling, he just might be able to stay on the court.

The Atlanta Hawks are also believed to be interested in Bynum, though they would prefer to sign free agent Monta Ellis. Whatever the case, it seems obvious that the Sixers have competition for the 25-year-old if they hope to bring him back and prove that their trade with LA was not completely useless.

Jrue Holiday: Andrew Bynum is ‘an awesome teammate’

Andrew-Bynum-SixersPhiladelphia 76ers fans waited an entire season for their new All-Star center to make his debut with the team, and it never happened. Andrew Bynum has battled injuries throughout his entire career, and that continued in Philly this past season. The former Los Angeles Lakers star has yet to play a minute with the Sixers, but that did not stop him from making an impression on Jrue Holiday.

“He’s an awesome teammate even though he didn’t get the chance to play,” Holiday said during an interview with Hoops Hype. “He showed me a lot of perspective from the big men aspect of the game. I do think he’s one of the best big men in the league and having him on the bench and in the locker room helped me to improve my game.”

Holiday should probably have a word with Philadelphia DA Seth Williams, who made a crack a couple of months ago about investigating Bynum’s situation. The big man’s former high school has also decided to separate itself from him, with officials recently saying that they are no longer proud of his accomplishments.

None of the Sixers players know what it’s like to take the court with Bynum, but Holiday said he still wants him to be back in Philly next season.

“I’d love him to… obviously, if he’s healthy. If he’s healthy I think he’s the best big in the league, but like I said it’s tricky because of the knee injuries,” Holiday said, via CBS Philly. “They actually haven’t talked to me about [whether or not Bynum should return] so I don’t know. Again, it’s a tricky situation because of his knees, his injuries. You can’t really make the decision just yet.”

“I think he wants to play, he wants to win. He had a winning career playing with the Lakers, winning two rings… He’s a winner and he wants to play.”

We have no way of knowing if Bynum milked his injuries this season, but we do know his insane hairstyles made more headlines than anything having to do with basketball. If he cuts back on the bowling in the offseason, Sixers fans could finally get the chance to see why their team gave up so much to bring Bynum to town.

Andrew Bynum’s high school no longer proud of him

The hits keep on coming for Andrew Bynum. Not only does the Philadelphia district attorney want to investigate him for fraud, but those at his high school aren’t too proud of him anymore.

The Star-Ledger’s Dave D’Alessandro spoke with Bynum’s high school coach and athletic director for a column on the Philadelphia 76ers big man, who is out for the season because of knee problems. D’Alessandro says both men like Bynum personally, but the school’s athletic director says they aren’t proud of him anymore.

Here’s what St. Joseph’s High School athletic director Jerry Smith told the Star-Ledger:

“Everyone here at school says the same thing: What’s wrong with him? Why does he act like that? He went from someone we’re proud of to someone whose name we don’t even mention anymore.”

Bynum’s high school coach declines to talk about his former center because he says Bynum has “chosen not to stay in touch.”

Bynum attended three different high schools, which could help explain his lack of allegiance to St. Joe’s. Or maybe it’s Bynum’s notorious flaky behavior that has led to his disassociation with the school, and their corresponding disappointment with him.

Chest bump to Crossing Broad

Andrew Bynum having surgery on both knees, out for the season

Andrew-Bynum-hairAndrew Bynum’s season will end before it began. The Philadelphia 76ers center is scheduled to undergo season-ending surgery on both of his knees.

Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski first reported the news and says the surgery will be to clean out debris in both knees. He says the arthroscopic procedures are scheduled for Tuesday.

Bynum was acquired by Philly in a four-team trade in August that sent Dwight Howard to Los Angeles. The Sixers welcomed Bynum with a billboard and expected him to become a franchise player, but they have gotten nothing but aggravation thus far. Bynum made nearly $17 million this season without playing a game, though the team did have some of his salary paid by insurance.

Bynum, 25, has had multiple knee problems throughout his career. He will be an unrestricted free agent after the season. At this point it’s fair to wonder what kind of contract offers Bynum will receive. It’s also fair to wonder if he’ll ever be able to make it through a season; he’s only played more than 65 games in a regular season once in eight seasons. I know I wouldn’t waste my time signing such an unreliable player.