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Lakers Roster Review: Andrew Bynum

Vitals

Age: 24

NBA Experience: 7 Years

Contract Status: Signed thru 2012-13

2011-12 Averages: 18.7 ppg, 11.8 rpg, 35.2 mpg, 55% FG, 69% FT, 1.9 bpg

For Andrew Bynum it was the best of times and it was the worst of times in 2012. Call it A Tale of Two Bynums.

There’s the All-Star Andrew that finally put it all together by staying healthy and getting ultra aggressive in the paint.

Then there’s Baby Bynum that gets ejected by arguing inconsequential calls and claims “closeout games are easy”.

Despite all of the negative press surrounding Bynum on everything from his parking habits to his aloof nature there is no arguing that he’s a rare commodity in today’s NBA. He’s a true center with legit low-post game. Sure, Dwight Howard might grab all the highlights but Bynum’s the one with a game that has developed each year he’s been in the league. God forbid Howard should actually develop an offensive arsenal in the paint.

What we’re all waiting for is the maturity light bulb to go off in Bynum’s dome. As it stands Andrew is only under contract for one more season. With the Kobe Bryant era winding down the time is drawing near for the Lakers to decide if building around Bynum is a good idea.

His talent is real. What’s lacking is any sense of urgency or the desire to give a consistent effort night in and night out.

Hard to believe we’re more worried Andrew’s attitude than his knees. What’s also difficult to understand is why maturity is still a concern 7 years into his pro career. Never mind his age. You grow up fast in NBA years. Bynum has been getting the “he’s young” pass for too long. Kobe was young once upon a time too but you never questioned his nightly effort. That’s the big difference.

But there I go…concentrating on nothing but the negatives of Bynum. The positives far outweigh the negatives. If the worst problem with building around Bynum is that he’s not a great role model for younger players then just bring Derek Fisher back and let him play until he’s 50. Seven footers that play like seven footers are rare these days. The Lakers would be foolish to allow Bynum to walk away. Now trading Drew for a few draft picks, younger talent and a fresh start could be an option. But let’s not think of that now. That’s rebuilding talk which we do not discuss in Lakers territory.

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Tags: Andrew Bynum Derek Fisher Kobe Bryant

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