May 8, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum (17) dunks the ball as Denver Nuggets center JaVale McGee (34) defends during game five of the 2012 Western Conference quarterfinals at the Staples Center. The Nuggets defeated the Lakers 102-99. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

Plan B: Andrew Bynum is the Best Solution for the Dallas Mavericks


Andrew Bynum is an out-of-shape malcontent. He will always be known in Mavsland as the guy who brutally leveled JJ Barea at the end of a series sweep against the Lakers in 2011. Bynum is the same player who decides when he wants to play hard and when he wants to just take it easy. He’s the guy who sat out last year entirely, collecting paychecks and laughing all the way to the Bowling Alley. His chronically injured knee situation is nothing new either. Previous to missing all of last season he missed 28 games in 2010-2011, 32 games in 2008-2009, and 47 games in 2007-2008. Even DeMarco Murray calls this guy “injury-prone”.

But the Mavericks need to sign Andrew Bynum.

May 16, 2012; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum (17) handles the ball while being guarded by Oklahoma City Thunder center Kendrick Perkins (5) during the second half in game two of the Western Conference semifinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Andrew Bynum is a recent All-Star Center. His last full season he averaged 18.7 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks per game. He is the top offensive center in the league and one of the top defensive centers in the league. He’s only 25 years old so he could actually IMPROVE in coming seasons. This would be a welcomed change since virtually every other Maverick on the expected roster is on the wrong side of the hill. With a dominant offensive center Dirk could move freely, taking the midrange jumper of his choice – even the 3-point line would become available with a center like Bynum roaming the paint.

The problem is CAN he play? How bad are his knees? Is he just trying to get as much money as he can before everyone realizes he’s done? These are questions that need answering for sure.

You can expect the Mavericks are asking these questions and many more.

Medical test will be needed. Maybe even some fancy wording in the potential contract too. But this needs to be done.

Mark Cuban and the Mavericks need to be as aggressive about this signing as they were with Dwight Howard. If the medical tests fail or Bynum choses someone else -then so be it- but that doesn’t mean they can half-ass this recruitment.

IF Bynum is healthy, he could be the best center in the league. Yes, even better than Dwight Howard. D12 has no offensive game. He just rebounds and dunks. He has no post moves or court awareness. Don’t get me wrong, I would still take D12 in a heartbeat, but let it be known he has major flaws in his game.

Bynum was never as explosive as D12 but he has a natural awareness on the court. He is a willing defender that averages almost 2 blocks per game. He has developed post moves that seem to improve each year (last year being the obvious exception).

Again, if Bynum’s knee fails the physical then he simply won’t be signed. That issue will take care of itself. The Mavericks could possibly sign the best offensive center in the league this offseason. Anything short of 100% effort in this pursuit is foolish.

They are considering Jermaine O’Neal now instead? Seriously? Are the Mavericks trying to build another .500 team? Maybe a 5th seed playoff team at best?

They need to swing for the fences because in the NBA a team needs superstars to win. Dirk and Andrew together would give the Mavericks a chance in the 2013-2014 season. No other possible acquisition this year can do that.

What’s the worst that could happen? If everything fails, the Mavericks will be a terrible team with a lottery pick in an excellent draft. Big time free agents are available next year too and the Mavericks expect to have plenty of money available to be free agent players again. The Mavericks have nothing to lose.

With Dwight Howard going to Houston and Chris Paul staying in LA the Mavericks have no choice but to go to Plan B.

Risky?

It sure is but what options exist? What will those options really get you anyway?

Andrew Bynum gives the Mavericks potential. And that’s better than anything else on the market.

Do you have questions or comments regarding Dallas area sports? Email Reid at [email protected]. You may be included in the next weekly mailbag. Follow Reid on twitter @ReidDHanson

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Tags: Andrew Bynum Dallas Mavericks Dwight Howard Mark Cuban