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I Don’t Recall Saying “Good Luck”: Andrew Bynum Signs With Cavaliers

Jul 11, 2013, 1:35 AM EDT

NBA: Utah Jazz at Philadelphia 76ers

Well, that’s that then. Apparently the Sixers’ pitch to Andrew Bynum wasn’t quite good enough, and now he’s gone and signed a two-year, $24 million deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Bynum will join the Cavaliers’ up-and-coming collection of top-five talent–#1 overall picks Kyrie Irving and Anthony Bennett, and #4s Tristan Thompson and Dion Waiters–as a likely up-and-coming team in the Eastern Conference, and down the road, perhaps even a re-landing spot for LeBron James should he decide to forgo quintiple-peating or whatever with the Miami Heat.

Thus ends Andrew Bynum’s time as a Philadelphia 76er, with a grand total of zero minutes played in the Red, White and Blue, and a tab of Andre Iguodala, two prospects and a future first-round pick that he will never collect on for the Sixers. We can’t say we didn’t have memories with Drew during his short time in Philly, but I think we all hoped those memories would be more about playoff wins and All-Star appearances than ridiculous haircuts and bowling tragedies. Nevertheless, he is gone, unlikely to ever return, and the Sixers franchise and fanbase has little choice but to suck it up and get over it.

Of course, this hardly comes as a surprise to Sixers fans, who had long since written off Bynum as a sunk cost, and in many cases, didn’t even want the injury-ridden big man back in the fold. The acquisition of Sam Hinkie as GM and subsequent draft-night trade for Jrue Holiday were fairly large indicators that returning Bynum would not be an off-season priority for the team, and we here at the Level basically assumed they would only go after Drew if they felt they could get him for decently below market value. Two years for $24 mil is a pretty decent get for Bynum, however, and it was unlikely that Hinkie would match or best such an offer for the rebuilding Sixers. Adios, Andrew.

Some stiuplations do come with those figures for Bynum, however, as only $6 mil of the $24 total is guaranteed. That six is guaranteed for the first year, with the rest coming on player incentives, and the second year is a team option, which essentially means that Bynum is a one-year, make-good experiment for the Cavs, and they can wipe the slate clean in time to go after the big 2014 free agents if so desired. I’m a little surprised that a team like Dallas, whose backup plan to Bynum at this point is going after our other old friend Samuel Dalembert, didn’t just throw a couple mil more his way for the season and just say what the hell, but whatever–everyone says this is the best deal Drew was getting, so may as well take it to play with Kyrie and company on a team with a virtually ceiling-less future.

Personally, I’ll still probably root for him. I can’t say Andrew Bynum’s time as a Philadelphia 76er endeared him to me all that greatly, but I still don’t really blame him for his missing the whole season, and I still think he’s one of the league’s more compelling talents (and more interesting personalities) when healthy enough for his eccentricities to not seem overbearing. If he wants to build something with the kids out in the Cleve, I say go for it. I’ll be at least a little bit bitter if he’s 100% healthy for the rest of his career and leads the Cavs to the upper echelon of the East as he was supposed to with the Sixers, but I’ll be cursing the basketball gods more than Bynum specifically. At the end of the day, he really doesn’t owe us anything.

Mostly, I’m just bummed that it never happened, that it’s never gonna happen with the Sixers and Bynum. So much excitement, so much worry, so much emotional bargaining, all in the name of a payoff that never came. It’s not gonna be easy to get over, but at least with the Sixers’ new management, there’s a plan in place for a post-Bynum future, and it’s not inconceivable that in a couple years, we’ll be much better set for the future than we ever would have been with Andrew Bynum and Jrue Holiday leading the way for the Liberty Ballers. Until then…well, let’s all get used to a lot of losing, and a lot of watching college basketball and fantasizing about who the next guy to really get the Sixers to contention could be.

  1. Lol - Jul 11, 2013 at 8:09 AM

    You’ll still root for him? That’s like Morman level niceness.

  2. Flyboyz - Jul 11, 2013 at 8:57 AM

    This guy was a bum in LA and he was a bum here. He could’ve played some games for the Sixers but he decided to sit on his lazy A$$ and collect his paycheck. He’s an imature fraud who would get batteries thrown at him if he ever suits up in this town. Sixers = Epic Fail. They need to sandbag and hope to get a game changer high draft pick, the only way to win in the NBA.

  3. rmc21 - Jul 11, 2013 at 9:09 AM

    Sweet headline

  4. nahroots - Jul 11, 2013 at 9:29 AM

    thanks for everything.

  5. 33 - Jul 11, 2013 at 9:42 AM

    Not sure how to feel about this.


    *Can I borrooooow a feeeeeelingggg?*

    • - Jul 11, 2013 at 1:43 PM

      He’s taking his glove of love to Cleveland.

  6. hitnrun - Jul 11, 2013 at 9:43 AM

    “I’m a little surprised that a team like Dallas…didn’t just throw a couple mil more his way for the season and just say what the hell.”

    I’m not. In fact I’m almost surprised that he got $6 million. He’s never going to play 15 consecutive games in the NBA again, and has less than a season total left in his knees. Essentially you’re paying $6 million for a press conference and some pre-season marketing. And you’re getting the Sixers’ sloppy-seconds version of that.

    I say “almost surprised” because it’s the Cavaliers. Whoever gave Bynum a contract was either going to be an AdamAaron-esque carnival barker or naive and Dan Gilbert is both.

  7. dmtshooter - Jul 11, 2013 at 10:25 AM

    If you are rooting for Andrew Bynum, may I suggest Googling “Stockholm Syndrome”?

  8. 2sentz - Jul 11, 2013 at 4:47 PM

    Just to clarify: Exactly how much did the Sixers end up actually paying this clown to do nothing?


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