The Indiana Pacers made it official today: Andrew Bynum won’t be available for the rest of the playoffs. It is something we had come to realize a long time ago, but the Pacers finally pulled the trigger on cutting him from the team.
The news came just hours before Game Two against the Washington Wizards. Bynum saw minutes in just two games this season. He averaged 11.5 points and 9.5 rebounds in limited time, immediately proving that he could still play ball, provided his knees cooperated.
Bynum started battling swelling in his knees following the two games and noted that it was the worst it had been since his time with the LA Lakers.
Pacers President Larry Bird offered up thanks to Bynum for his limited services.
“We want to thank Andrew and our medical staff for trying to get the issues with his knee resolved,” said Bird. “We wish him the best in the future.”
Bynum signed with the Pacers for $1 million, effectively making $500K per game this season from Indiana.
Bynum started the 2013-14 season with the Cleveland Cavaliers. He didn’t get along with anyone in the coaching staff or on the roster and was traded to the Chicago Bulls where he was immediately cut.
The Pacers took a low risk, high reward chance on Bynum when cracks in the team started to appear in February. Coach Frank Vogel didn’t seem to upset when Bynum went on the inactive list recently.
“This is what we signed up for,” Vogel said. “We knew he was a great player with some problem-area knees (who was) going to be in some times and out sometimes. We’re fully aware of that and we’ll be excited whenever we have him in uniform.”
Some reports indicated that Roy Hibbert had issues with the Bynum signing. The specifics of the report, per Bleacher/Report, seem to indicated that Hibbert was upset when Vogel called plays for Bynum that he didn’t for him.
Hibbert was already trending downward when Bynum saw his first minutes, but it might have intensified his decline. Hibbert has long had a tenuous mental state. Former coach Jim O’Brien would routinely bash Hibbert in front of the media, which had a negative result. Vogel took over and started using positive reinforcement and it worked incredibly well.
Whatever the case, Bynum won’t be with the team for the remainder of the offseason. The Pacers will have to rely on their current lineup to continue on in the playoffs, but its not like Bynum was giving the team anything.