Cavaliers center Andrew Bynum has been suspended indefinitely by the team, general manager Chris Grant announced today. The organization claims he was a negative influence on the young squad, and since his contract is not fully guaranteed some are reporting he could be released soon if the Cavs can’t find a trade partner.
Bynum is only guaranteed half of the reported $12 million he was set to make this season after reaching certain benchmarks — imposed after he missed the entire 2012-13 season for Philadelphia. The Cavs have until January 7 to release Bynum, trade him, or pick up the option and pay him the full amount of his contract.
The reactions around the league seem to center on Bynum’s possible availability in a trade, but the release is the result of a behavioral problems, which many predict will infect any team looking to deal for him and makes finding a trade partner difficult at best.
Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt at USA Today report that Bynum was a bad fit with a young Cleveland roster:
Bynum has not bought in to what the Cavaliers are trying to accomplish, and with a young a team, he had turned into a negative influence, a person familiar with the situation told USA TODAY Sports.
The person requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the sensitive nature of the situation.
The situation had been building over the past month, and it reached a tipping point at practice Friday. There was no outburst or physical alternation – just a continued insistence from Bynum to do what he wants with little regard to team goals. The person said if Bynum wasn’t committed 100% there is no reason for him to be with the team right now.
The reactions around the league have been various and impassioned, but Amick mentions the Clippers and Nets as possible trade partners.
Eric Pincus at the Los Angele Times says the Lakers are out, and Dwain Price at the Star-Telegram also appeared to rule out Dallas as a trade partner despite their tepid interest in him this summer. Tim Kawakani of the Mercury News also appeared to rule out Golden State. But the Heat, Clippers and Nets seem to be the front-runners, at least in terms of need and speculation by columnists.