INDEPENDENCE, OH (92.3 The Fan) – The Cavs newest big man took center stage Friday morning in Independence, as the club officially introduced Andrew Bynum as a member of the team.
The team and Bynum agreed on a two-year, $24 million deal, that guarantees only $6 million to the center overall.
The deal includes a team option in the second year, and Bynum can earn $12 million in the first year if he reaches performance incentives.
“We’re very excited today to add someone like Andrew Bynum,” Cavs GM Chris Grant said.
“I know he’s very hungry, and he’s very excited to move forward. We’re going to do everything we can to put him in a position to succeed.”
The Cavs are hopeful that the knee injury that sidelined Bynum for the entire 2012-13 season in Philadelphia is behind him, and that he’ll be ready to take the floor from day one.
“I really believe in the doctors here and the training staff,” Bynum said.
Bynum, who says he weighs in about 305 pounds right now but plans on playing about 280 by the start of the season, says that he never intended to miss an entire season due to injury.
“I had every intention of playing,” Bynum said. “It was just unfortunate that it didn’t work out for me there, here we have a great plan moving forward.”
In seven seasons Bynum has appeared in 392 games with 300 starts, averaging 11.7 points, 7.8 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.6 blocks in 26.0 minutes per game while shooting .566 from the floor.
“With the time off I have been able to get the swelling out (of his knee) and I am ready to work,” Bynum said.
“I am going to stay in his gym as much as possible to get my game back.”
There has been talk about the work ethic of Bynum, and rumblings that he isn’t always the most dedicated gym rat, to which the center said “that’s kind of nonsense.”
He clearly did the job of selling himself to the Cavs and Grant, who seemed more than thrilled to land a player that has the ability to get this team to the postseason for the first time in the post-LeBron era.
“He has the ability to strengthen the foundation we are creating and continue to be very excited about,” Grant said.
“At the same time, we are fully aware of where he is in his journey to get back on the court and will provide every resource possible to support and enhance this process.”
Before he missed all of last season, Bynum averaged career-highs of 18.7 points and 11.8 rebounds for the Lakers and then head coach Mike Brown, while being voted as a NBA All-Star starter for the Western Conference.
Bynum says that he and Brown “have a great relationship,” and that as far as playing this season – “I want to play a full season.”
Now it’s all up to Bynum, who says he’s already moved to the area and will start hitting the gym on Monday.
If he can play up to the potential that he showed two seasons ago, the Cavs may have just landed a deal for a player that they hope will help push them to the next level.