The Cleveland Cavaliers made moves this summer. They landed Jarrett Jack in free agency with a four-year $25.2 million deal and signed embattled center Andrew Bynum to a caveat-laden two-year deal with only $6 million guaranteed. The Cleveland Plain Journal‘s Mary Schmitt Boyer recently spoke with Bynum, who said his rehab is on schedule for his return. But can Cavs fans trust the prognosis?
What’s crazy to remember is that Bynum didn’t play a single second for the Sixers last season. After they participated in the three-team trade sending Orlando’s Dwight Howard to the Lakers, Philly’s only reward was Bynum’s fro, and not a low post presence Doug Collins wanted to team with then-point guard Jrue Holiday.
So what has Bynum been up to since signing the incentive-laden contract with Cleveland?
“I moved here a week after the press conference, I’ve been here ever since — day in and day out just working,” he said, referring to the team’s practice facility. “I’m there, focused. I’m doing everything I can do to get back. That’s what all this is all about for me right now. I just want to play.”
Cleveland GM Chris Grant even sounds positive about Bynum’s trajectory to return and his work ethic to get back on the court.
“We’ve been very impressed with Andrew’s work ethic and diligence in this process,” Grant said. “He’s doing everything possible to get back on the court as quickly as he can.”
But as Boyer points out, Grant didn’t put a date on Bynum’s return, and Bynum himself used the most ambiguous language possible about his return.
“It’s a fluid process. I have no idea what the schedule’s going to be for me. But I’m doing everything I can to be ready. I think with the program that has been made up, we have a good chance.
“I’m optimistic I’m where I should be. Obviously, I want to be playing. But I’m taking baby steps, doing what the team and the doctors tell me. I’m doing my part. I come to work every day. I’m moving in the right direction.”
Bynum’s also getting love from Cleveland fans as he explores his new city.
“Right now, there’s a lot of love,” he said. “They’re just excited that we definitely can do something this year, and I agree with them. We’ve got a good team.”
Did you notice how he said “right now,” like even he’s waiting for the other shoe to drop — probably on his surgically repaired knees.