Twitter went ablaze when Bynum said he would want to play for Cleveland in 2013, as he would become a free agent. @NotBillWalton and many other parody accounts all took quite a few tweets to make fun of Bynum and the city of Cleveland, but in reality the joke may be on them.
Andrew Bynum is actually brilliant for wanting to play in Cleveland in 2013.
The Cavs, unbelievably, may be in the best position in the entirety of the NBA in terms of future success. They have a ton of draft picks and that number could grow assuming the Cavs facilitate the Nets and Magic deal and pick up Humphries. The past two seasons, they’ve picked up 3 top 5 and 4 first round picks, and one of those picks has become Rookie of the Year and could be one of the NBA’s most alluring up and coming players. On top of it all, Cleveland has a coach. A coach that has been there. Byron Scott may be the Cavaliers most valuable asset in terms of their future.
With Kyrie Irving, draft picks galore, Byron Scott, and Andrew Bynum in the Cavaliers organization, I believe Cleveland has a legitimate shot to be a title contender.
But why does Bynum really want to come to Cleveland?
Bynum has been criticized mercilessly in LA for his inability to mirror the productivity of Kareem Abdul-Jabar, the player whom he was most linked to when he arrived into the NBA. His career thus far has been marred by injury, but has still been successful in terms of productivity. When healthy, I truly believe the guy is a franchise center. Until Kobe Bryant retires, LA will be his town. Nothing is his fault. When the Lakers lose it’s always on Pau and Bynum rather than on Kobe. Bynum doesn’t like the expectations, and when Kobe leaves town, he knows that it will be a long and hard road back to the Finals in LA.
In my mind, I think Bynum is thinking that this will be the last year the Lakers really have to compete for a title. Nash is old, Kobe is old, Metta World Peace is old, and Pau Gasol is old. Bynum, at 24 is by far the youngest player in that lineup, and knows it. He’s experienced the LA lifestyle. He’s played with a superstar. He’s even won a title. What left is their to do in Bynum’s career?
Bynum wants to be part of something bigger than himself, and in Cleveland, he could really have the best of both worlds.
You know how Cleveland hated LeBron for leaving? Remember that whole thing? Yea, well if Bynum came, imagine that, but backwards. Bynum would literally be immortalized in NBA lore if he came to Cleveland, even if he didn’t win a championship. Finally, a player wanted to be a part of something in Cleveland, and realized what a special place it really is. Finally someone would ignore those who bash Cleveland left and right, and respected the Clevelanders who love their teams more than any city in America. Clevelanders would dip his uniform in gold, and every word about him that came out of their mouths would be shrouded with “wonderful” and “amazing”. That’s the thing about Cleveland. You can never doubt their passion. Good or bad, they will be more than passionate about anything involving the Tribe, Cavs, or Browns.
In Cleveland, Bynum would have all the praise and all the glory upon him, but at the same time, could be the part of a team-wide, city-wide effort to win a championship. It would be bigger than the Bynum show. It would be the Cavaliers and their quest to win a title. The pieces are all there. As much as Cleveland would love Bynum, it would be about the team and the city. I think he realizes that, and it intrigues him. He doesn’t care about what others say. He realizes that Cleveland could be a truly magical place, even more so than it was when LeBron was there. LeBron ruled the city by himself. No one else mattered. In this situation, the Cavs would rule the city, and Bynum would be a big part of it.
If Bynum actually made his way to the Cavaliers, something that, believe it or not, is actually entirely possible, they could have one of the youngest and most dynamic lineups in the NBA. Think Oklahoma City, but less reliance on two players. When I think about it, the word dynasty comes to mind.
Byron Scott as the Head Coach, Kyrie Irving as the PG, Dion Waiters at the two guard, Alonzo Gee at the three, Tristan Thompson at the PF, and Bynum as the 5. Kyrie is 20. Waiters is 20. Gee is 25. Thompson is 21. Bynum is 24. I’m not very good at math, but I believe that the average age of the Cavaliers would be 22 years old.
For now Cavs fans, it’s best that we take this with a grain of salt. Bynum said he would come to Cleveland, while outlandish, is just that: a “would”. Not a “will”, a “would”. A “would” is much better than a “won’t”, but still it’s not a guarantee.
This situation, however, seems so much more tangible than I’ve ever seen in terms of big time free agents in Cleveland. It’s always speculation, but this time, it seems real. It seems as though the Cavs can actually get this done. They have the money. They have the pieces. All that they need is for Bynum to understand what he would be coming to. I would think that it would be pretty easy for him to understand. It’s a young team, and if he joined and produced, they would become a possible NBA dynasty.
So Cavs fans, don’t take this too much to heart, we’ve seen our fair share of disappointment. But for now Cavs fans, I say to you this: dream of number 17.
Follow Hayden on Twitter @H_Grove