Should the Warriors Acquire Andrew Bynum?
It would appear as though Andrew Bynum is available.
The big man is reportedly uninterested in remaining with the Cleveland Cavaliers and consequently, the team is looking to get rid of him via trade or possibly by waiving him. He was suspended for conduct detrimental to the team
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports has the story:
The Cavaliers believe Bynum has been a “disruptive” presence within the team and have lost hope the partnership can be salvaged, sources said. Bynum often expressed a lack of desire to play and practice and was convinced by the Cavaliers not to quit previously, sources said.
Thus, the Cavs have suspended him for conduct detrimental to the team.
Teams who considered signing Bynum in summer were as concerned about his desire to play as his knees. Officials didn’t see motivated rehab.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) December 28, 2013
The former member of the Los Angeles Lakers has always displayed flashes of brilliance with his interior scoring, but his health has always been an obstacle. Furthermore, there are concerns about his willingness to conduct himself as a professional that have scared away teams from signing him in the past. Still, the big man brings a few things to the table. Seriously, look at the play below:
To be fair, Bynum does not regularly string along moves likes this in the low post. He merely uncorks them every now and then. On the season, he is converting 38 percent of his shots in post-up situations per Synergy Sports.
For the most part, he rushes shots in the post and at times plays like he is afraid the ball will not come back to him. Thus, he will keep the ball a bit too long and take low-percentage shots.
Also, his defense leaves much to be desired. Bynum tends to remain stationary defensively, a clear indication that this side of the ball barely interests him. He can get exposed in the pick-and-roll because of this.
In addition, he can track either his man or the ball, not both, which makes him somewhat of a liability on the floor. Not so coincidentally, the Cavs were a minus-5.3 on average when the big man was on the hardwood per NBA.com.
And yet, the Golden State Warriors could definitely use him on the team given the lack of depth at the center position. Jermaine O’Neal could potentially miss the remainder of the year because of a wrist injury. Moreover, Festus Ezeli has a knee injury that might keep him off the floor until roughly the start of the playoffs.
Andrew Bogut has been healthy all season, however there is still a possibility he might miss some time here and there simply because of the taxing nature of the 82-game schedule. The Warriors need some insurance in the event the Aussie sits for a few games. Heck, it wouldn’t hurt if Bogut had someone to spell him.
Bynum fits in this instance because he provides size and talent. Golden State would not rely on him as a key cog. Instead, the former Philadelphia 76er would play somewhere around 15 to 20 minutes per game.
He can finish some around the basket and also, his free-throw shooting is far superior to Bogut’s. His defense is not where it needs to be, but few change shots at the rim better than Bynum. According to SportVU tracking data, opponents only convert 37.6 percent of their shots at the rim when the two-time world champion challenges them.
For the sake of perspective, that’s better than the Indiana Pacers’ Roy Hibbert. He’s just the guy in the lead for the Defensive Player of the Year award through approximately a quarter of the season. A move for Bynum obviously does not come without complications.
Firstly, the Dubs should not trade for him given that he might not be all that interested in actually playing basketball. Giving up assets for him is far too risky. Instead, the Dubs can simply be patient. In the event the Cavs waive him, Golden State can pounce and gauge the big man’s interest in signing for the veteran’s minimum. Once again, the trick here is to think low risk and high reward.
The second issue is perhaps the trickiest one: determining whether Bynum is actually interested in playing as a backup. Given that he might not want to actually play basketball anymore, offering him a second-unit role might not necessarily sway him into joining the franchise.
Nonetheless, these are the terms and conditions that Golden State must set for themselves in order to secure the services of the former All-Star. Any additional role or asset exchange might prove far too costly for a player that might very well be on his way out of the league.
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