(Andrew Bynum picture via www.nba-champions.blogspot.com )
Andrew Bynum stepped into the spotlight last year in Los Angeles. He supplanted forward Pau Gasol as the second option on that team and recorded a career year( 18.7 points and 11.8 rebounds). Recently, Bynum made it known that he wants to receive a max contract for his next deal. But is he ready for what comes with a max contract?
(Andrew Bynum in deep thought via www.espn.go.com )
Bynum is a good offensive center. After years of working with Laker legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, he has polished his hook shot and his footwork in the post, although mechanical at times, is better than Dwight Howard’s. I would venture to say that if you put Bynum on the Orlando team that Howard had around him last year, he would be averaging 25 points a game. But the question about Bynum isn’t about his offensive abilities as much. For as good as he could be, injuries and his attitude can be a deterent. Bynum has been known to snap at a moment’s notice (as evident in his ejection in the 2011 playoffs versus the Mavericks). He has also been known to have temper tandrums when it comes to things not going the way he wants them too. Is this the type of immaturity that you want to entrust franchise money to? Is he mentally ready for what getting franchise money means in terms of his role on that team?
(Andrew Bynum picture via www.lakers.topbuzz.com )
Bynum had one of the most healthy seasons that he has had in his career. He has had a history of knee injuries, but last year, he played through them and produced. Even though Bynum played through the injuries, the fact still remains that he is still a guy that has not shaken the injury bug. To say that he is Sam Bowie is harsh, but he has missed a lot of time during his career. If he is able to stay healthy, he is the second best center in the NBA. But if he isn’t, he is just a high-priced guy in street clothes. And on the bench, he isn’t going to help the Lakers at all. Durability is a huge issue here with Bynum and that is something that has to be watched from here on out.
If I were the Lakers, I would not give in to the max extension at this point. I would need to see some more things from Bynum first. Bynum first must show that he can be mature enough to handle the responsibility of a much bigger role in the Laker organization. So far, he has show glimpses with no consistency. Another thing that I would like to see from the big man is a sense that he is past his injury issues. I would need to see him play in at least half of the season and not have any setbacks with his knees. If he does, that would take down some of his value in my opinion. In the end, I think Bynum grows up and shakes the injury bu. But, he does have to prove it. And to this point, the Lakers and the world are waiting to see if Bynum can answer the questions surrounding him.
Do you think that Bynum receives a max contract and gets over his issues? Voice your opinion.