Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Cavaliers put Andrew Bynum on paid leave

The Cleveland Cavaliers announced yesterday that that they have lifted the suspension of center Andrew Bynum, but that he is still excused from all basketball activities. The move should help the organization avoid any issues with the NBA Players Association. The move also lets Bynum continue to get paid for not playing basketball – something he has done almost exclusively over the last year and a half.

The team suspended Bynum indefinitely for conduct detrimental to the team on Saturday, as reports have surfaced that he either does not want to play basketball anymore or wants to move to a team in contention. Bynum’s suspension means more playing time for second year center Tyler Zeller and top overall pick Anthony Bennett, both of whom were bench bound when Bynum was available.

For the season, in 20 games, has averaged 8.4 points on 41.9 percent shooting and 5.3 rebounds. While he as been effective at times, he has also had games where he has gone scoreless, largely disrupting the flow of the Cavaliers offense.

The Cavaliers will have until before January 7th (which is when Bynum’s 12 million dollar salary becomes fully guaranteed) to trade Bynum and not be on the hook for the full salary. It is assumed that if the front office cannot find a willing trade partner to take on Bynum, then the Cavaliers will just waive the big man and make him an unrestricted free agent.

And if Bynum cannot find a new home, this may be the end of the line on his NBA career. In his last two stops, he has caused headache after headache and, in Cleveland, appeared to alienate his teammates. At 25 years old, and about to be cast off from one of the few teams will to take roll the dice and offer him a deal we may have seen the last of Andrew Bynum, NBA player.

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