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Andrew Bynum Meets With Mavericks As Cavs Await Decision

On Monday, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported that the Cleveland Cavaliers have offered unrestricted free agent Andrew Bynum an incentive-based, two-year contract worth approximately $24 million.

The deal is also said to include a team option in year two, but you already knew all that.  

He has since met with the Atlanta Hawks though no details of a potentially competing offer were released. Bynum is scheduled to meet later today with Mark Cuban and the Dallas Mavericks. 

Despite missing all of the 2012-13 campaign with the Philadelphia 76ers, I have long believed that someone would be desperate enough to offer Bynum a contract that includes a second guaranteed season.

I had also hoped that team wouldn't be the Cavaliers. 

After missing out on Chris Paul and Dwight Howard in free agency, though, while Dirk Nowtizki inches ever-closer to retirement, it seems the stars may have aligned for the Mavericks to become that someone.

If they eventually are, and Cleveland loses out on the former All-Star center from the Los Angeles Lakers, I'm completely fine with it.  

Acquiring Bynum on the type of deal the Cavs reportedly offered would be great. It's the best possible scenario for brining in a player with the potential upside that Bynum has while also protecting the Cavaliers against any long-term risk.

The incentive structure in year one not only guards against the glaring injury concerns, but it also creates an added motivation for Bynum to do everything in his power to stay on the court. Last year in Philadelphia, while re-aggravating his injuries at the bowling alley, I'm not convinced he had that motivation.

The team option in year two also enables Chris Grant and the Cavs to truly cash in on their investment assuming the Bynum experiment plays out as well as it might. 

When healthy, as we all know, Bynum is a rare, seven-foot talent who is capable of playing his way onto a list of the top 20 overall players in the league. He is only two years removed from averaging 18 and 12 for the Los Angeles Lakers and there aren't many seven-footers in this world who are walking around unsigned with the potential for that type of NBA production. 

But if the Cavs went any further than they reportedly have, by potentially creating a salary structure where Bynum is not incentivized in year one, or if Cleveland did not push for the team option in 2014-15,  the idea of possibly acquiring Bynum wouldn't be nearly as fun.

If he eventually accepts the Cavs offer under those terms specifically, the risk is minimal with a potentially limitless ceiling.

There's certainly concerns about Bynum's attitude, and whether or not he might negatively impact the Cavs' locker room, but I'm not too worried about any of that. After coaching Bynum in Los Angeles, Mike Brown is intimately aware of those concerns. I imagine he's spoken to them already and is satisfied enough with the response he received.

Before going any further myself, though, by envisioning the possibilities of a healthy Andrew Bynum in a Cavaliers uniform, walking out of the locker room next to Kyrie Irivng, Dion Waiters, Tristan Thompson, Jarrett Jack, Anthony Bennett and Anderson Varejao, I'll say now that I'm satisfied with whatever happens from here. 

The Cavs put a fair and reasonable offer on the table. If Bynum accepts that offer, great. Michael Stanley and Machine Gun Kelly can collaborate on a song to celebrate and we'll all start talking crazy about the playoffs. 

If he doesn't accept the deal he has on the table, however, Bynum and the Cavaliers were simply not meant to be. In the meantime, I'll be watching Woj's Twitter account and keep you posted if I hear anything.

Brendan Bowers

About Brendan Bowers

I am the founding editor of StepienRules.com. I am also a content strategist and social media manager with Electronic Merchant Systems in Cleveland. My work has been published in SLAM Magazine, KICKS Magazine, The Locker Room Magazine, Cleveland.com, BleacherReport.com, InsideFacebook.com and elsewhere. I've also written a lot of articles that have been published here.

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