Andrew Bynum was introduced by the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday with a handshake and a smile.
This is the second-consecutive year that Bynum has done this dance.
It is the second time that he has publicly stated that he will be healthy enough to play a full season of basketball.
Last season, the Philadelphia 76ers gave Bynum $16.9 million and he did not give them a second’s worth of playing time.
He has legit knee issues and the 76ers are somewhat to blame for taking the risk that they took in hopes of securing a big man to lead their franchise into a future that never prospered.
Bynum currently weighs 305 hefty pounds that will place an incredible amount of pressure on his damaged knees.
In normal circumstances, the benefit of the doubt would be given that he would be able to work with Cleveland’s staff to shake 30 or so pounds off that frame.
Andrew Bynum has proven himself not to be the model of maturity and discipline so this is the first red flag of concern for how he will fare in Cleveland.
Bynum discussed his current state-of-affairs on Friday.
“Definitely. The Cavs so far have given me every opportunity to succeed,” Bynum said during the press conference. The medical staff here is great. We put together a plan going forward. I pretty much show up and work hard, and I really believe in the doctors here and in the training staff. I’m in a different place because after the surgery I feel a lot better than I did last year. With the time off, I’ve been able to get the swelling out and I’m just ready to work. I’m here, and like Chris said, I moved up here already. I’ve found a location to live. And I’m going to stay in this gym as much as possible to get my game back to the level that I know I can.”
Bynum stated that he is assuming a leadership role and that he will lead the Cavaliers to the playoffs.
I can bring leadership, I can bring experience, and myself and the young team around me, we’re in an interesting opportunity to all rise together and really do something special,” Bynum said. “We have the talent, and now all it’s going to take is the work. I think everybody with the team, especially myself, we’re ready to put that in. Going forward, I want to get back to the All-Star level. I want to just work extremely hard and get this team into the playoffs and really make some noise. I think the Cleveland fans deserve that. That’s it.
Bynum is a unique talent that has an amazing upside if he chooses to buckle down and get this thing right.
If he does he stands to earn $24 million over the next two years.
If he does not, he’s walking away with $6 million and a ‘nice try.’
Either way, the future is at least fiscally bright for a young man that still has a lot to prove.
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