Posted December 28, 2013

Cavaliers suspend Andrew Bynum for ‘conduct detrimental to the team’

Andrew Bynum, Ben Golliver, Cleveland Cavaliers
(Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images Sport)

Andrew Bynum has averaged 8.4 points and 5.3 rebounds for the Cavaliers. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images Sport)

The Cavaliers announced Saturday that center Andrew Bynum has been suspended indefinitely for conduct detrimental to the team. Pursuant to that suspension, GM Chris Grant said in a statement that Bynum did not travel with the team to Boston for its game against the Celtics, and he has been “excused from all team activities” for the duration of the suspension.

Yahoo Sports reports that the suspension will likely mark the end of Bynum’s brief stint in Cleveland, which began back in July when he signed a two-year, $24.8 million contract that included a partial guarantee this season and a non-guaranteed salary for the 2014-15 season. The Cavaliers will reportedly seek to trade Bynum before the remainder of his 2013-14 salary is guaranteed on January 7.

“He doesn’t want to play basketball anymore,” a league source told Yahoo Sports.

The Cavaliers believe Bynum has been a “disruptive” presence within the team and have lost hope the partnership can be salvaged, sources said. Bynum often expressed a lack of desire to play and practice and was convinced by the Cavaliers not to quit previously, sources said.

ESPN.com also reports that the Cavaliers will “begin aggressively looking to trade” Bynum in the wake of the suspension.

Prior to Cleveland’s game against Boston, coach Mike Brown called the suspension an “internal matter” and offered little in the way of explanation. 

”He’s on an indefinite suspension and I’m not trying to be funny, but you know what indefinite means,” Brown said, according to the Associated Press. ”We’ve got 14 guys in that locker room who are very focused and determined and ready to take on any challenge that’s in front of them. They’re great guys, they’re focused guys and they know how to play the game the right way and that’s what I’m focused on, just helping those guys win.”

Bynum’s $12.3 million salary for 2013-14 was split more or less in half. The first $6 million was guaranteed, and the balance is set to be guaranteed on Jan. 7. The contract was structured this way to offer the Cavaliers a level of protection in case Bynum’s knee injuries continued. The 26-year-old center missed the entire 2012-13 season with knee problems and was still rehabilitating when the deal was consummated over the summer.

If the Cavaliers are able to trade Bynum over the next week, it would almost certainly be in a cost-cutting move for another team. Trading for Bynum would allow another team to offload a contract of their own and then immediately waive Bynum before Jan. 7, thereby trimming the non-guaranteed portion of his salary from their books.

If there are no takers in a trade, the Cavaliers will surely exercise the protection they built in for themselves by releasing Bynum prior to Jan. 7, as that would save them the remaining $6.3 million owed to Bynum this season and the non-guaranteed $12.6 million for next season. At that point, he would become an unrestricted free agent capable of being signed by a contender for the stretch run toward the 2014 playoffs on a veteran’s minimum salary.

USA Today Sports reports that the Clippers would be interested in Bynum should he become a free agent. Grantland.com reports that both the Clippers and Heat are interested.

Bynum’s situation in Cleveland clearly did not develop as team or player had hoped. The vision in adding Bynum, it seemed, was that he would be the piece to put the franchise over the top and back into the playoffs for the first time since 2010. Instead of recovering the full complement of his All-Star skills, though, Bynum has averaged 8.4 points and 5.3 rebounds in 20 minutes per night, offering inconsistent production. His net rating of minus-11.8 is the worst among Cavaliers who have played at least 200 minutes this season.

Meanwhile, the Cavaliers entered Saturday with a 10-19 record and have had a turbulent early season, with reports of a locker room disagreement leading to a brief Dion Waiters disappearance and Brown ripping his team’s effort after one November loss.

”I’m worried about the guys in the locker room,” Brown said Saturday, according to the AP. ”It’s as simple as that. In our business there are a lot of ups and a lot of downs throughout the season. I think you all understand that. So what you do as a head coach is you keep moving forward. Any time you look back on anything or dwell on anything is wasted energy from the guys in the locker room, which is obviously very important.”

Bynum’s ability to cope with the injuries and the mental transition to becoming a lesser player have been looming. Back in November, Bynum told reporters that he had given “serious thought” to retirement because of his ongoing knee issues, which he also called “career threatening.”

Indeed, The Point Forward noted in early-November that the Cavaliers might need to consider pulling the plug on Bynum if things didn’t seriously improve (which they didn’t).

Cleveland could make this decision for him. It’s happened before to the likes of Brandon Roy and Greg Oden. Contractually, Bynum is guaranteed $6 million this year and $12.3 million if he makes it through the guarantee date in January. The Cavaliers have a $12.6 million team option for the 2014-15 season, but it will take significant, unexpected progress over the next six months for Bynum to be worth such an investment. If Bynum isn’t capable of providing difference-making play in a real rotation role, the Cavaliers can save themselves $6 million by pulling the plug in January, thereby throwing his career into even murkier waters.

The quality of Bynum’s play, or lack thereof, should have made him totally expendable to the Cavaliers, and any drama he brought during practice on in the locker room should have been treated as too much drama. It’s still possible that he could be a valuable addition in a limited role for a contending team, but the fit in Cleveland was not working, and there was no sense in clinging to the original vision, which never came to fruition.

54 comments
ChiefG
ChiefG

I have been saying since they signed Bynum that this was a mistake.

But, everyone said it was a no loss deal. Bynum was worth it in the long run.

Guess I just see it all as a waste of money.

ceodonaldo
ceodonaldo

I refused to watch the Lakers play while A.H. Bynum was on the team.  He is a loser, he will blow his money away in no time when he is out of the game.  What a punk.

joecov
joecov

Can't help but feel badly for Cleveland fans. The city has endured so much sports heartbreak… 

PatrickBatemanVP
PatrickBatemanVP

Hey Cleveland fans, how is your future dynasty team coming along?:


Irving

Waiters

James

Bennett

Bynum

oldguy68
oldguy68

Whoever signed this guy also needs to be released for the good of the team. Apparently that #1 draft choice hasn't worked out so well either

ChiefG
ChiefG

Quit signing injured players and this stuff won't happen.

Thorvik
Thorvik

Andrew  don't want to play basketball anymore....he wants to play bowling.


FredFlintsone
FredFlintsone

Knicks might give em draft picks and players for him .

BradPitt
BradPitt

He's a fat stoner and worthless

pvraymo
pvraymo

More time for bowling and trying out a new fro.   Hoping he goes to the Heat and contaminates them for the playoffs or maybe he and LO can reunite and destroy the Paper Clips

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

So, were he and Albert Haynesworth separated at birth or what?

Delusional
Delusional

Tbh he's in control. He doesn't want to play for anyone except Miami or the clippers. So either the cavs release him or pay him for not playing. If hes released there is a good chance he'll go to Miami

Mully
Mully

This just in...Andrew Bynum arrested for playing the "Knockout Game" with Zeller...developing

Mully
Mully

The Heat will sign him and he'll get a ring with his fellow loser malcontent Beasley. They can join Antoine Walker  and White Chocolate as the biggest busts to win a ring by jumping the Heat bandwagon...I just vomited.

TomCraine
TomCraine

Another example of....""Your snazzy in LA"", but you can't carry a jock strap anywhere else!!!

Kalzy
Kalzy

This kid is a loon

6marK6
6marK6

Hmm, maybe the Bengals or Lions....oh wait.

airmjbsanders
airmjbsanders

Methinks Drew Bynum may have signed his last NBA contract.  If it's true that his 'detrimental conduct' is not wantin to play, then why would any other team pay him a dime?

Ken Cunningham
Ken Cunningham

Hey twinkiewilson0817, you could be right. It would be the business move to make for both sides. Just too bad his head wasn't in it. Not that many talented 7 footers out there, and when Andrew felt like it, he could put up healthy numbers. 

twinkiewilson0817
twinkiewilson0817

A team will trade for him only to offload a player/contract of there own. Then he will be cut before Jan 7th and any guaranteed portion of his contract will be null and void. That's how a trade will benefit both parties. Please tell me I'm not the only one who has a clue about how this works.

Ken Cunningham
Ken Cunningham

I've heard he really never wanted to play basketball. Maybe it's true, and the more he ends up nearly being chased out of town or booed unmercifully by your former home fans, the more it seems hoops just isn't in his cards.

ak_tatiracanal
ak_tatiracanal

As bad as the Lakers are, people thought they were foolish for getting Bynum out of Los Angeles.


Now everyone can see what the Lakers and the 76ers later saw.It's not just physical with Bynum, it's emotional and mental as well.

By the way, why are the Cavaliers getting a pass on how they're running their organization?


Their number one pick,  Anthony Bennett hasn't panned out, they look like they're going to be a fixture in the lottery and I doubt Kyrie Irving is going to stay, regardless of what he promised that little kid!

SukeMadiq
SukeMadiq

Who would want this overpaid lazy cancer putting up mediocre numbers?

Phllip
Phllip

Comments by ITATTRACTS and bmj down below are on point. If you've lost your passion for playing then simply say it. Plenty of other players to look for rather than invest in a guy who is just simply ignorant. His lack of motivation and drive with the 76ers was flat out ridiculous and upsetting. To go a whole year without playing because dumb choices he made while "recovering from injury" like going bowling? Dude never even touched a ball while in Philly. Now he goes to a Cleveland team that's in rebuild mode who can also use a good experienced player like Bynum, and instead he's nonchalant again. I hope no one invests in this dude again. I understand wanting to play for a contending team, but he's been there done that. Be a leader. And if not, have some decency to be honest rather than collect hard-working peoples money.

CâlinRâdulescu
CâlinRâdulescu

They're trading his contract, basically...

Either a contender team takes a chance at him, while sending out a lesser player with a similar contract, or a re-building team looking to unload someone who is not in their plans... and then cuts him.

I'm betting on borderline tax-paying teams. LAL, CHI... Even New York, to unload Stoudamire, maybe


Possible scenarios: 

1. LAL - CLE: 

Gasol+Nash+filler+cash for Bynum+Waiters+Zeller+filler. Other minor pieces need to be involved to make it work money wise, but it makes sense

Cleveland has enough young pieces, they need any kind of warm body to make it work, especially since the East, beside Indiana and Miami, is wide open. Gasol would be a huge upgrade over Bynum, and next to a skilled PG who can control the tempo, he'd at least be effective for his 15pts+8reb he can produce nowadays. Getting Nash (retiring and waivable through the stretch provision)+a few milion to pay his salary this year would be acceptable if Gasol comes as well.

LA clearly isn't going anywhere with Gasol, and he's playing to about 60-80% of his capabilities right now. Bynum, as the bulk incoming salary, would be waved and they'd get within 1 million of the tax hit.

Getting the mildly talented Waiters & Zeller as a return for Gasol would probably the best available deal, and a good financial deal.


2. CHI - CLE:

Boozer+Hinrich for Bynum+Waiters

Same idea for Cleveland, at least they get some talent back, for the "nothing" Bynum represents basketball-wise. It's sad, but it's much healthier for the franchise to accept it and get a decent talent, albeit an overpaid one. All while weakening a division rival. Remember, they want to put up a decent cast together to maybe entice James back.

Chicaco, same as for LA, they'd get only 1 million away from the tax threshold. Bynum would be waived, they'd be rid of Boozer, Gibson would have the rest of the season to work towards his ceiling and Waiters would be a welcomed question mark, one of the few players in Chicago capable on offense


3. NY - CLE:

Stoudemire for Bynum+Clark or Waiters or whomever to make it work financially

Frankly, it would be a blessing for New York to move Stoudemire. The season is lost, what they need is a decent record and a flexible future to sell to Anthony. 10-14 million less in payroll would get them closer to financial "decency". Any live body coming back would at least be capable to produce a lesser +/- hit than Stoudamire currently does. It's not just his fault, it's more about fitting in.

As for Cleveland, it's clear that they'll take a chance on almost any living creature willing to play basketball. Stoudemire is 40-60% of what he once was; being a finisher, not a creator, he needs a creative PG beside him. Playing Varejao / Thompson next to him would hurt that much rebounding wise.


Jessica2
Jessica2

Andrew Bynum is fat, lazy, ignorant POS and ghetto sloth.

Bynum will be selling drugs to survive in the next few years,

broke by the time is 30 years old in jail shortly after.

Zeke Mokowski
Zeke Mokowski

Which brings to question if the guy truly doesn't want to play, why would anyone trade for him? Did he at some point make a mark or has his talent been completely wasted? Done.

21GB
21GB

@ChiefG - They also lost draft picks getting rid of him, he caused at least more damage to the lockerroom than he helped. So it was more than wasted money. Deng is a UFA, so they didn't really get him, they got a chance to rent him and lose draft spots for any wins he helps provide. It was a more costly mistake than most anyone thought it could have been. 

oldguy68
oldguy68

@FredFlintsone Could be. Seeing what they would do with the draft picks could be very humorous

3M_TA3
3M_TA3

@6marK6 - The Lions already have TEs that can't catch a ball and a QB that throws to the wrong team. Maybe the Jets...

nikedunks13
nikedunks13

Who thought the Lakers were foolish for giving up Bynum for Howard?

nikedunks13
nikedunks13

If he was a cancer he wouldn't have two rings. Keep your mouth shut.

ianforbes
ianforbes

@Jessica2LOL. Why? Because he doesn't want to play ball anymore? Next time just start by saying "I'm a racist and these are my views". I'm also thinking since you wrote such an ignorant comment you must be some white trash meth head hoe, who does all her work on your back. Your incest kids will also be meth heads and constantly in jail. Oh, was that ignorant of me?

Sportsfan18
Sportsfan18

@Zeke Mokowski beat me to it!  I can just hear the phone calls.


Another team calls up the Cavs G.M. and asks :why are you trading him?"  Cavs G.M. says "he doesn't want to play basketball anymore".


Other G.M. responds, "you do know that's what we'd want him to do you know, right?"


Cavs G.M.  "Yes"


Other G.M.  "Then WHY are you trying to trade him to another BASKETBALL team when he does NOT want to play basketball anymore?"


Lunacy.  

brandon0206
brandon0206

@nikedunks13 He rode Kobe and Pau's coattails for two rings, then the Lakers dumped him as soon as they could. I think you're the one who needs to shut his mouth 

friendly--neighborhood--scrawler
friendly--neighborhood--scrawler

@ianforbes

you are right its sounds like Jessica had a few kids by her uncle and the one by her dad she aborted (got kicked in the belly) that no one in the family knew about... 

Mully
Mully

@3M_TA3Maybe I should take lessons from you, if it means I can use hilarious rejoinders about working at Taco Bell. Sure you don't want to bring out the old "you live in your mom's basement" chestnut?


Dolt

3M_TA3
3M_TA3

That's nice to know. Because being funny isn't your forte. At least you can fall back on working the drive-thru at Taco Bell.

nikedunks13
nikedunks13

If he was a cancer they wouldn't have won tard