KEVIN DING @KevinDing
Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak spoke today with Andrew Bynum's agent David Lee about a contract extension for Bynum.
XXIV wrote:davriver290 wrote:So now with the Dwight trade looking unlikely, Bynum will be our center. What should he focus on to improve his lateral quickness to better defend the pick and roll?
I want him to learn on passing out of double teams.
KeepBynum wrote:Bynum averaged 17.4 mpg and 24.4 mpg in the 2009 & 2010 playoffs respectively. Wouldn't call that hardly playing.
Finwë wrote:1) Bynum hardly played when it mattered in both title runs you referred to. It was mostly LO and Pau.
DaylightinthePivot wrote:As a comparasion, Jordan Hill averaged 18 mpg in the playoffs last year. Roll player minutes.
JUST-MING wrote:lakerfan2 wrote:There's a reason we won back to back.
Romy134 wrote:why does bynum have so many gray hairs???? is it related to being 7ft++ like a growing compex??
Doc Brown wrote:
Can't wait to see this when he has his fro grown out...
KeepBynum wrote:I don't see Bynum ever being as athletic as he was in 2007, but he doesn't have to be. He's so much better offensively. Back then all he could really do was dunk. Now he has a legit lowpost game.
earvinfr wrote:KeepBynum wrote:I don't see Bynum ever being as athletic as he was in 2007, but he doesn't have to be. He's so much better offensively. Back then all he could really do was dunk. Now he has a legit lowpost game.
Bynum was jumping higher, moving faster. Both were good help at least on the defensive end.
Ariza3 wrote:i feel like drew always gets mad about not getting the ball...but most of the time during a game that hes complaining, he doesnt even have good position. hes too far out and just wants the ball.
Mitch Kupchak and Andrew Bynum’s agent, David Lee, have spoken recently.
As far as Lakers fans are concerned, they might as well have been discussing the weather.
Lee said on Wednesday that Kupchak, the Lakers general manager, did not broach a possible contract extension for Bynum, the All-Star center who has one more year left on his contract.
“I saw the report,” Lee said of media accounts in which Kupchak said last week that the Lakers had begun discussions about an extension. “I think Mitch’s comment was that we had ‘a cordial and productive’ conversation. It was cordial and it was productive, but it had nothing to do with an extension.”
Kupchak actually used the phrase “productive and positive,” though the gist is the same.
Lee said the Lakers also had not asked about other teams Bynum might be willing to re-sign with, an inquiry that would likely be a precursor to a trade.
Lee would not say whether Bynum, who is slated to make $16.1 million next season, would prefer to secure a larger contract by waiting until next summer to sign an extension as opposed to signing one now. According to figures provided by independent collective bargaining agreement expert Larry Coon, Bynum could add three years and $57.1 million to his existing contract if he signed an extension.
By comparison, if Bynum re-signed after next season, he could command a maximum five-year, $101.9 million deal.
“When it comes to Andrew, we deal with things as they are presented to us as opposed to speculation,” Lee said. “It’s not even a conversation I’ve had with him because there’s no reason to have it. We don’t talk about things until we have to deal with them.”
Lee said Bynum had begun training workouts Wednesday in preparation for next season and was scheduled to begin working with Lakers assistant Darvin Ham early next week.
Meanwhile, the Lakers continue their pursuit of a backcourt player.
They currently have 13 players under contract for next season, if you include Devin Ebanks, whose agent recently told The Times that his client would sign the Lakers' one-year contract offer for about $1 million: Bynum, Ebanks, Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Pau Gasol, Metta World Peace, Antawn Jamison, Jordan Hill, Josh McRoberts, Steve Blake, Christian Eyenga, Darius Morris and Andrew Goudelock.
For a while, the only public presence Andrew Bynum provided this offseason came in the form of ongoing trade reports involving Magic center Dwight Howard.
That all changed Thursday night when Bynum attended Real Madrid's 5-1 win over the Galaxy in a friendly game at Home Depot Center. Bynum's centered this offseason mainly on resting his body. His only extensive training so far happened in Atlanta where he said he planned to work more on his mid-range game. Bynum took a fishing trip to Alaska. He declined to play in the 2012 London Olympics because of health concerns. Bynum plans to go to Germany in September for an innovative, non-invasive "Orthokine" procedure on his knees, the same procedure Kobe Bryant had last year.
Bynum is just starting to increase his activity level. The Times' Ben Bolch recently reported Bynum began training workouts on Wednesday and plans to work with Lakers assistant coach Darvin Ham next week.
But for now, Bynum appeared simply to enjoy the moment inwatching his favorite soccer team play. His fanhood for Real Madrid sparks plenty of discussion with Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol, considering both of them root for its rival, FC Barcelona. Bynum has an extensive collection of pro soccer jerseys. And he often plays the FIFA soccer games on his X-Box.
Bynum leaves Lakers with mixed feelings
Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss pulled off Friday what most thought would never happen.
Getting Dwight Howard in a trade? Nope. Giving up on the apple of the VP's eye — Andrew Bynum? Exactly.
Seven years ago in one of his first major moves as part of management, team vice president Buss convinced his dad Jerry and GM Kupchak to take a major gamble and draft a 17-year-old high schooler from St. Joseph's of New Jersey who couldn't stay healthy even then. The Lakers used the No. 10 pick to grab Bynum, hoping for the best and fearing the worst.
In the last seven years they got a mixture of both.
When the 24-year-old seven-footer was healthy and focused, he could be one of the most dominant players in the NBA. He helped the Lakers get to three straight Finals, winning in 2009 and 2010, and showed definite flashes of brilliance. But when he was in the mood to act his age, he was a distraction to his teammates and coaching staff.
It could get so bad that his teammates would publicly campaign for him to be traded, like in the summer of 2007, the Summer of Kobe Bryant's meltdown, when he was unknowingly being video taped by a fan in a restaurant parking lot.
After another early playoff exit courtesy of the Phoenix Suns, Bryant went on virtually every radio station he could find in order to clobber Laker management and demand a trade.
Leaving an Orange County eatery, Kobe was approached by some fans and asked about a Bynum for Jason Kidd deal that was being talked about at the time. Bryant was asked if he would give up Bynum, he said "Are you (expletive) kidding me? Ship his (expletive) [Swearing is not permitted at Clublakers. You must edit this post prior to submitting.] out."
Bryant, of course, didn't know a fan was video taping the entire exchange from across the parking lot, and within a few hours the video was becoming a rallying cry for Lakers fans who wanted to do anything that would get Kobe to rescind his trade demand. He did, and the Lakers went to the Finals the next season after acquiring Pau Gasol.
As time went on, Bryant's stance on Bynum softened, praising him often, especially after the Lakers beat the Boston Celtics in the 2010 NBA Finals. He told reporters that Bynum had been a key to the victory, contributing while playing on a badly injured knee, and generally had good things to say about his center. However, when interviewed by TNT's Craig Sager at the Olympics Friday after the trade, Bryant talked about how excited he was to have Howard as a teammate, yet never mentioned Bynum's departure.
Bryant wasn't the only Laker with conflicting feelings about their former teammate. Ask a player off the record if he felt that Drew would ever outgrow his me-first attitude, many times they'd say probably not. One player even told me that he thought Bynum was playing the game for money. "I don't think he really likes playing or has a lot of passion for it. He's doing it because he's good at it and can make a lot of money."
Now, that's not always a bad thing, if you're able to give a full effort all the time and be a good teammate. Curtis Martin, the New York Jets' running back enshrined in the NFL Hall of Fame last weekend, admitted that he didn't really have a tremendous love of the game. Yet, he became one of its most outstanding players and was a popular teammate because he gave 100 percent every time he played or practiced.
Bynum, when asked about the possibility of being traded during this past season, responded by saying "banks are in every city" giving credence to the theory he's in it for the money and that's about all.
And then there's the case of the sour attitude he displayed on more than a few occasions, such as his 2011 smashing of Dallas guard JJ Berea during the playoffs, then ripping off his jersey while walking to the locker room after being ejected. And the many times last season when he defied coach Mike Brown, the most public being his reaction to a benching following an ill-advised three-point shot against Golden State. Following the game he told reporters that it didn't matter what Brown thought, he would "still take 3-pointers."
So, Bynum's Laker career — not at all surprisingly — has ended. He's coming off his best season — 18.7 ppg and 11.8 rpg — as he moves to the Philadelphia 76ers and their coach, Doug Collins.
"Andrew Bynum had a great career here," said Kupchak after the news conference to introduce Howard Friday. "A few injuries slowed him down, but he was a great player for us. He's a special player with a bright future."
He became a champion, an All-Star and an enigma in the past seven years. The only thing he never became was a mature professional. Maybe getting to play near his New Jersey home will facilitate that.
After watching him for nearly every game of those last seven seasons, I wouldn't bet on it.
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