Andrew Bynum Plays Leverage Game, Will “Consider” Cleveland, Dallas in 2013


With the Dwight Howard saga heading into its second year — oh my goodness — Andrew Bynum is being strung along while the Lakers are keeping Bynum and the Magic at bay.

It seems like a foregone conclusion that, if Drew is offered a max contract extension — likely 6 years for just under $120 million — he’ll sign with the Lakers, no questions asked. He’s been with the organization long enough to know that they’re willing to put a winning team around him and he essentially grew up in Los Angeles (since he came to Hollywood at the ripe age of 17).

Of course, L.A. hasn’t offered an extension yet, as they wait on a Dwight Howard deal to fall through. As a result, Bynum is like, “two can play that game.” Check this tweet from Adrian Wojnarowski of Y! Sports:

The teams he’ll consider?

The reaction from Lakers fans, mainly on Twitter? “He wants out and wants to go to CLEVELAND?” or “He wants to play for Cleveland instead of the LAKERS?!”

This isn’t the appropriate reaction, mind you. If you want to point your anger at anyone, it’s the front offices of the Orlando Magic and Los Angeles Lakers for not being decisive on a deal, and namely at the Lakers for not making any sort of promises to Andrew Bynum, who is easily the second-best center in the league and, to these eyes, the best big man in the NBA ahead of Dwight Howard.

Bynum deserves some sort of answer, and soon, immaturity be damned. Dragging this damn thing into December — likely a result of the Magic playing hardball — will only hurt the team’s chances of winning a title in 2013 (and that’s the goal, since Steve Nash and Kobe are well past their primes).

Bynum’s playing the leverage game, in response. Essentially, it’s “hey, give me my deserved contract extension or there are plenty of other teams who will, and I can name two teams with enough cap space to do so.”

These little nuggets just add to the drama surrounding the ongoing Dwight Howard saga, and it’s getting annoying.

Personally? I’d like to keep Bynum in L.A., “maturity issues” be damned.

But more importantly I, like many fellow Lakers fans, want this damn thing to be over.

Hopefully, someone — somebody — will pull the trigger, and we can move on.