Cavaliers pursuing Bynum

Former All-Star missed last season with injury

Philadelphia 76ers' Andrew Bynum speaks to members of the media.
Philadelphia 76ers' Andrew Bynum speaks to members of the media.

CLEVELAND — The difficult balancing act facing the Cavaliers this summer has always been to locate a key veteran who can make a big impact on the roster without chewing up future cap space.

They might have found their man in free-agent big man Andrew Bynum.

Bynum visited the Cavs' facility Monday, a league source with knowledge of the meeting confirmed to the Beacon Journal.

The Cavs are interested in signing Bynum, who missed all of last season with two bad knees, to a one-year deal. Bynum is expected to meet with the Dallas Mavericks and Atlanta Hawks later this week, ESPN reported. The Mavericks might be willing to offer more years, but as the payrolls are presently constructed, the Cavs could offer more guaranteed dollars this year.

Bynum missed all of last season with problems in both knees. He was originally diagnosed with a bone bruise in his right knee in September and received injections in September and October. He injured his left knee during a bowling event in November and had surgery in March to clear debris from both knees.

After already agreeing to terms with free agents Jarrett Jack and Earl Clark, the Cavs have between $12 million and $15 million left in cap space and are prepared to make a significant one-year offer that would consume most of that space.

Bynum played for Cavs coach Mike Brown for one season with the Lakers, averaging career highs in points (18.7) and rebounds (11.8). But the Cavs aren't expected to offer more than one guaranteed year because they are protecting cap space for the summer of 2014.

If Bynum doesn't get a multiyear offer to his liking, presumably from the Mavericks, a one-year contract could benefit both sides. It would give Bynum a year to prove he is healthy and show he is worth a max contract next summer. Meanwhile, the Cavs would have one year to sell Bynum on Cleveland being a place he would like to stay. Paired with All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving, a healthy Bynum would instantly make the Cavaliers playoff contenders in the East.

There is certainly risk involved, beginning with a report last week that Bynum won't work out for any teams. The Cavs' medical staff would likely want to see an MRI of both knees and perhaps run other tests before offering a contract.

Bynum was under contract with the Philadelphia 76ers last season but didn't appear in any games. The Cavs were involved in trade discussions for him last summer before he went to the 76ers in a four-team trade that also involved Dwight Howard.

Bynum only practiced once with the Sixers, on Feb. 22, and the swelling in his right knee prevented him from stepping on the court again.

In his final media interview March 1, Bynum said there wasn't a surgical procedure invented that could guarantee his return to basketball, and he said he didn't want to play in pain.

"I think I'll be able to play in some form or fashion in the future," Bynum said then. "I think they are getting close with things to do for articular cartilage."


Speights leaves Cavs for Golden State
OAKLAND — A person with knowledge of the deal says the Golden State Warriors and Marreese Speights have reached an agreement on a free agent contract.

Speights should help fill the void left by power forward Carl Landry. Speights averaged 10.2 points and 5.1 rebounds in the final 39 games with Cleveland after coming over in a trade from Memphis last season.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.