Former Cleveland Cavaliers center Andrew Bynum has found a new home and with one of the NBA’s best team.
On Saturday, the Pacers announced that they have signed the enigmatic center to a deal for the remainder of the season. Terms of the deal were not announced, per Pacers team policy. However, sources have indicated that the deal will be worth $1 million dollars. From their official release:
“We are obviously happy to have him join our team,” said Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird. “He gives us added size, he is a skilled big man and he has championship experience. With the minutes he gets, he should be a valuable addition.”
Bynum will join the Pacers sometime next week.
“It really wasn’t a hard decision, I think it’s the right fit for me and, in all honesty, I think we’ve got the best chance of winning,” said Bynum. “It will be great to back up Roy and I’ll do whatever I can to help this team.”
This is an interesting move for Indiana, as he can back up All-Star Roy Hibbert and it also keeps the Miami Heat from picking him up as a potential weapon to use against Hibbert. At least offensively, Bynum should be an upgrade over current backup center Ian Mahinmi. Defensively, he isn’t mobile enough to play at Mahinmi’s level.
However, if the Bynum from Cleveland is same one playing for the Pacers the rest of the season, this signing won’t do much. Bynum killed the Cavaliers spacing and, from all indications, he wasn’t exactly a positive influence in the locker room. And even on nights where he shot well from the field, Bynum killed the Cavaliers pace, as he simply couldn’t get out and run the floor.
This deal is also less risky for Indiana than it was for Cleveland. The Cavaliers were counting on Bynum to be a major part of the offense and help turn the team around. For Indiana, Bynum is nothing more than a potential bench weapon that they don’t necessarily need. They are already the best team in the East and maybe in the NBA and, if Bynum doesn’t workout, they still will be.
It must be nice to be in the Pacers position.