By now you've heard the news that Andrew Bynum has become a member of the Indiana Pacers. Some were for the New York Knicks trying to sign him, but others had their reservations. It's fairly easy to make an argument either for or against adding Bynum to an NBA roster. However, the good news is that despite not getting their man at least the Knicks tried to sign Bynum.
Andrew Bynum has been called a lot of things. Mostly, lazy. It's very clear that he has huge amount of talent. He can be one of the most dominant big men in the entire NBA when he's focused and healthy. However, those are two things he hasn't been in a while. Just ask the Philadelphia 76ers and Cleveland Cavaliers.
When Bynum became available it was questionable if the Knicks should sign him even if they could. After all, he was such a problem in Cleveland that they cut him and made him available to the rest of the league. How much does he have left in his tank? Will his body hold up? How much would he demand to sign with a team? Is he mentally checked into the sport of basketball?
Those were all reasonable questions to have while looking into Bynum's availability. However, no one could deny that Bynum could help a team if he was sound in mind and body. Especially a team like the Knicks who seriously lack size.
Marc Berman of the New York Post reports the Knicks put a full court press on Bynum to add him to their roster.
The Knicks made a strong late push to sign center Andrew Bynum before he chose the Pacers, his agent told The Post Saturday.
Knicks personnel director Mark Warkentien tried to arrange a meeting with Bynum and the Knicks staff, but it never materialized.
“The Knicks were very aggressive in the end,” his New York-based agent David Lee told The Post. “In the end, they did everything they could.”
In the end, it came down to money and opportunity. The Knicks could only offer Bynum the veteran’s minimum. At this point in the season that offer pro-rates to $550,000. The problem is, the Indiana Pacers are simply a better team and were able to offer him part of their mid-level exception. Making $1 million instead of $550,000 for the rest of the season and playing for a contending team made the decision an easy one.
The fact that the Knicks didn't sign Bynum obviously isn't positive. He's a bit of a gamble but clearly t the payoff was far larger than the risk of signing him for the veteran's minimum. Beyond that, the combination of he and Tyson Chandler may have been the Knicks only shot at combating Indiana's height.
However, the silver lining in this is that they at least tried to add him to the mix. They tried to get better. They realized that in order to turn this season around they had to take a gamble. They had to roll the dice on Bynum and hope that it paid off.
When all was said and done Bynum ended up going to Indiana where he knows they'll be in the championship race. It's hard to blame him for that decision. Unfortunately, he adds even more size to an already large Pacer squad. One things for sure, it's good to know that Steve Mills isn't ready to raise the white flag and was at least trying to improve this roster. Even if he wasn't able to get his man.
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