The Indiana Pacers have announced an agreement has been reached between them and free agent Andrew Bynum. Late last night the news broke that Bynum was in Indianapolis meeting with Pacers’ president Larry Bird and head coach Frank Vogel.
While no contract information was divulged, but someone’s sources will give that up soon enough, it was rumored that Bynum wasn’t willing to take the veteran’s minimum which is around $1.27 million as this is Bynum’s ninth season in the NBA. The Pacers had $2.1 million left from their MLE after spending $3 million of it on Chris Copeland, so the figure is likely closer to that.
After reading Twitter last night and today, it appears Pacers fans are split on this move. While Bynum was a force with the Los Angeles Lakers, he’s become an injury plagued center who apparently doesn’t even like playing basketball anymore. But if there is one team that knows how to correct players attitude problems, it’s the Indiana Pacers.
This move likely means Ian Mahinmi will become the third-string center or be moved by the trade deadline to free up future cap space. Mahinmi is averaging just 3.0 points, 3.1 rebounds and 0.9 blocks in 16.0 minutes per game this season. Bynum was averaging 8.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 20 minutes per game this season. Just looking at those numbers, you see why the Pacers decided to take a chance on Bynum.
Bynum won’t suit up tonight against the Brooklyn Nets, but you can be assured he will have some presence on the bench. The talk is that he will join the team at some point next week, with the Pacers next game being Monday against the Orlando Magic.
With the ability to waive Bynum around March 1, this move is definitely a low-risk, high-reward one. There is growing concern that Bynum is nothing more than a cancer in the locker room, but the Pacers’ veterans know how to handle guys like that and it’s safe to say they won’t let him cause issues that would derail the teams chances at winning a championship this season.