Posted February 01, 2014

Pacers bolster depth, sign Andrew Bynum for the remainder of the season

Andrew Bynum, Ben Golliver, Indiana Pacers, Larry Bird
Andrew Bynum

Andrew Bynum averaged 8.4 points and 5.3 rebounds for the Cavs this season. (Randy Belice/NBAE/Getty Images)

Andrew Bynum is headed to the Pacers.

Indiana announced Saturday the signing of the free-agent center for the remainder of the season. USA Today Sports reports that the deal will pay Bynum $1 million.

“It really wasn’t a hard decision. I think it’s the right fit for me and, in all honesty, I think we’ve got the best chance of winning,” Bynum said in a statement. “It will be great to back up Roy [Hibbert] and I’ll do whatever I can to help this team.”

Bynum has not played since Dec. 26, when he was suspended by the Cavaliers for conduct detrimental to the team. Cleveland then traded the 7-footer to Chicago before to his contract guarantee date in January, allowing the Bulls to release him without paying the final $6.3 million remaining on his $12.3 million salary for the season. Since his release, Bynum has been an unrestricted free agent, and the Pacers, Heat, Clippers and other clubs were linked to interest in his services.

“We are obviously happy to have him join our team,” Pacers president Larry Bird said in a statement. “He gives us added size, he is a skilled big man and he has championship experience. With the minutes he gets, he should be a valuable addition.”

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It’s not yet clearly exactly how many minutes Bynum can expected to receive. The Pacers lead the East at 35-10 and have All-Star Hibbert starting in the middle, with a capable backup in Ian Mahinmi. All-Star Paul George and David West play the bulk of the minutes at the forward positions, and the remaining frontcourt bench minutes are being handled nicely by the likes of Luis Scola, Danny Granger and Chris Copeland.

What Bynum brings to the table under these conditions, besides limited playing time in a reserve role and injury protection under a worst-case scenario, isn’t totally clear. The signing does prevent Bynum from joining the Heat, who added oft-injured center Greg Oden over the summer to shore up their weak interior. Miami had been linked to interest in Bynum in various rumors over the last month.

The Pacers expect Bynum to join the team “sometime next week.”

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As The Point Forward noted earlier, Bynum, 26, averaged 8.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 20 minutes per game over 24 appearances for the Cavaliers this season. His 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 struggled to keep up with the pace of the game and offered inconsistent production. His net rating of minus-11.8 is the lowest mark among Cavaliers who have played at least 400 minutes this season, and Cleveland was 10-19 at the time of his suspension.

The 2012 All-Star starter averaged 18.7 points, 11.8 rebounds and 1.9 blocks for the Lakers in 2011-12, but he seemed to be having issues coping with the injuries and the mental transition to becoming a lesser player. In November, Bynum told reporters that he had given “serious thought” to retirement because of his ongoing knee issues, which he called “career-threatening” and which already cost him his entire 2012-13 season with the Sixers.

Signing with the Pacers technically marks Bynum’s fifth team since April 2012, but he never suited up for Philadelphia or Chicago.

48 comments
KevinClugston
KevinClugston

I find it silly that we signed Bynum to keep him away from Miami.  The truth is that the Pacers NEEDED another big man on the roster.  Pacers have plenty of depth at 1-3 but we have only West/Scola and Hibbert/Mahinmi at the 4/5.  Any injury at all would completely destroy our rotation and bench chemistry. 

DAJS6
DAJS6

The Pacers signed him just to stop him from going to the Heat.  A tag team of Oden and Bynum against Hibbert would have been good for the Heat. But the Pacers are risking team chemistry. Maybe Bynum will just be on the injured list for the rest of the year. If they win the championship by preventing the Heat from getting another 7-footer I guess that's a million dollars well spent. 

Charliegone
Charliegone

Heat are done this year. Pacers gonna spank them so bad they wish they were never born.

AndrewDickerson
AndrewDickerson

The guy who wrote this article didn't even take the time to do any research on the Pacers.  Chris Copeland has not played all season except in garbage time.  

ronaldmitchell717
ronaldmitchell717

Guys critical comments about Bynum has nothing to do with Basketball. What he'll do you guys know about the sport of basketball? Calling names is getting real boring!

NoQNoSuperBowl
NoQNoSuperBowl

Pacers should have let Miami have him. Guy is a cancer.

WesVaughn
WesVaughn

Perhaps the Pacers signed Bynam only to keep him away from the Heat!!  


BlowPop852
BlowPop852

What a hilarious joke Pacers are going to lean over Riley/Spoelstra and pump their buts full. Hahahahahaha god this is hilarious. Riley got Oden to fix everything. Hahaha perhaps the plan is to never go near the net. Maybe the Heat can shoot from half court? Yah that would be good because when the Heat find out they have nothing inside they will need to. Riley I hate to break it to you but the Pacers are going to hold you down and you are going to be their btch. 


Perhaps you should have got your team some help inside. Oh well maybe you can fast break all game...NOT. 

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

Pacers fans worry not, barring an injury Andrew will not be given the chance to be a negative factor on your team..  

Pat better have some other plan... if he thinks, Chris "girl scout cookies" Bosh is going to be any factor inside.... that leaves Birdman and Lebron... Oden is one jump away from retiring again ... Pat only had one thing to do in 4 years,  get the Heat some inside help....period !  and still this idiot has not done it.... The players formed the big 3 not Pat but for some reason people want to give Pat the credit... The Heat needs to score / defend / rebound inside this post season to have any chance of winning... 

If Lebron comes back to south beach win or lose it will show how stupid he really is.... In the 4 years in south beach Lebron has been the teams best scorer, rebounder, passer and defender... where is the help he came to south beach for.... and with.... Way of Wade's steroid addle knees getting weaker each year and Bosh closer to coming out and embracing his RuPaul lifestyle i don't see any future for this team.

BxboyKnicksYanks
BxboyKnicksYanks

They don't need him. They just don't want the Heat to pick him up. 

marcusb2323
marcusb2323

I was pulling for the Pacers up until this decision.  It is unfortunate that Bynum's cancerous attitude is rewarded by the Pacers.   If they don't win it all, I'm scared this will be one of the reasons.

MikeHuser1
MikeHuser1

Indy signed him because Andrew Bynum needed to be humbled. He was also on a very dysfunctional Cavs team and probably learned his pouting skills from, I'm guessing, Kobe Bryant. Andrew really isn't even that big of a fan of basketball in the first place. He's just one of those guys that was big and could play and the pay was too much to turn down. Larry knows playing under the right environment can turn anyone's mood around for the better. This is one of the most functional front offices in the league. This team is built around teamwork and making the extra pass. Larry thinks this environment can turn him around and inspire him to love the game. He took a chance on Lance. He's betting the same thing will happen to Bynum. The thing that ultimately will keep this thing together will be Larry Bird. When Larry takes a chance on you, you don't want to let him down. The best part about it is if he does act up, then we've got Ian Mahinmi right there to replace him whilst simultaneously keeping him under contract for the duration of the season. Larry is a genius.

Rem
Rem

Pacers sign pro-bowling prospect Andrew Bynum

phillyfan
phillyfan

There's a sucker born every minute.....

nwaber
nwaber

"We are obviously happy to have him join our team,” said Pacers President Larry Bird in a statement. "Because we know Roy can handle Greg Oden, but dealing with an Oden and Bynum tagteam might have tired him out a bit for the finals, or gotten him into foul trouble so Lebron could have a clear look at the hoop. But as long as Andrew is on our payroll he can't play for the Heat. That's a bargain right there."

True Fan
True Fan

Nobody is going to ruin their chemistry. Only time will tell on the rest. I trust Larry Bird.

DAN B1
DAN B1

this guy is poison

Go_Niners!
Go_Niners!

Indy just signed him to keep him out of Miami.

ARob78
ARob78

Has this writer ever watched the Pacers or did he look at the roster and just assume Copeland is handling frontcourt minutes? Rasual Butler has seen more meaningful playing time. Even when Granger was hurt, Copeland only got blowout minutes. It's a 9-man rotation: Hill, Stephenson, George, West, Hibbert, Scola, Granger, Watson, and Mahinmi. Saying Copeland is part of the frontcourt rotation is absurd.

NoThanksESPNFacebook
NoThanksESPNFacebook

Bynum couldn't get motivated for 6.3 million. I don't see how he will do it for what is likely a few hundred thousand. Hopefully he doesn't mess up what the Pacers have going.

KevinClugston
KevinClugston

Seeing Mahinmi hold his shoulder and West twist an ankle in tonight's game just reinforces that the Pacers needed another big like Bynum far more than they needed to keep Bynum from signing in Miami.

AaronDunckel
AaronDunckel

@BlowPop852 how did that size advantage work out for the Pacers each of the last two seasons vs the  Heat?  That was before they even added Oden.  

This is textbook of why you dont talk trash until the buzzer goes off. 

troydeleon
troydeleon

@BlowPop852 They wont put bynum and hibbert in at the same time as that would be ridiculous given how they both dont have no midrange games. So bynum will technically be a slower backup than what they have now.


ArnoldRiveron
ArnoldRiveron

@BlowPop852 you are laughing too prematurely! it can backfire on the pacers too. what about if oden out lasts bynum? bynum might not even see that much playing time, heck he might not even behave or play the rest of the way. bynum has behavior issues. did you know?

AaronDunckel
AaronDunckel

@friendly--neighborhood--scrawler people keep using the same knocks against the Heat, and somehow they keep getting it done.  Give me Lebron in the final game of a series any day.... and I can't see the Pacers ending it in 6 or less.   


daryl.m.sweat
daryl.m.sweat

@WilyCoyoteSuperGenius Why, because he just kept a talented center off the benches of rivals Miami and LA?  And with a small, season finishing contract that neither threatens next season's cap, nor really puts the pacers off anything this season?  

Good job thinking that one through, genius. 

IUBB5Titles
IUBB5Titles

@ARob78  Amen. It must no longer be a prerequisite to do research prior to publishing an article that will be read by thousands of people. No wonder the people who fail to educate and think for themselves have no clue about anything that is really going on. This article is simply a microcosm of the damage that the media is doing to our society.

JMoreno1557
JMoreno1557

@ArnoldRiveron @friendly--neighborhood--scrawler  name a big man you think the heat can pick up. There's no one they can get without giving up parts of their already thinning roster. The beauty of this trade is that even if Bynum's a baby and doesn't play big minutes, Indiana can simply not use him. At worst, they'll be where they started, the best team in the East right now. At best, a championship. Larry Bird's a genius.

marcusb2323
marcusb2323

@True Fan @marcusb2323  It is an observation True Fan.  Simply stating, that the Pacers not winning the Championship will be linked to their decision to sign Bynum.  He will infect the team chemistry with his negative, "I'm gonna retire" attitude.

Marty2
Marty2

@daryl.m.sweat @WilyCoyoteSuperGenius  "Talented center?"  Seems like from the stories I've read, it would have been better to let Bynum go to those teams and let his bad attitude affect their organizations - his presence on a roster is not a positive one.

AndrewJones
AndrewJones

He doesnt give a SH#$ about money for motivation, guy has made enough for many lifetimes. Having seen him at his peak, I'd say this is a great signing for Indy. Dude can flat out play if motivated and the thing that motivates him is being on a championship contender. Philly, Cleveland are not good teams. It's going to be different on Indy's roster. Riley probably bumming right now, knows they are in for a serious fight.  

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

@JMoreno1557

Actually.. Bird is not a genius.. Pat R.. is a bleeping idiot... Pat fought with Bynum over a few dollars..instead of signing him and rumors had it weeks ago,  the Pacers were going to sign Andrew to keep him away from the heat..The only one out there is Monroe, i think, he is a lot softer than Bynum inside