Mavericks meet with Andrew Bynum; how much of his contract is guaranteed could determine where he signs
UPDATE 8:24 p.m.: Things happen quickly around these parts -- Andrew Bynum has agreed to sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
7:27 p.m.: When it was reported that the Cavaliers had offered Andrew Bynum a two-year deal worth $24 million, we knew that the contract would be incentive-based due to the injuries that prevented the big man from playing a single minute for the Sixers after being traded there last summer.
But we didn’t know just how little of those dollars were guaranteed, and in what appears to be a two-team race to sign up for the Bynum experience between the Cavaliers and the Mavericks, that might end up being the deciding factor in where the All-Star center ultimately chooses to sign.
The Mavericks met with Bynum on Wednesday, and are reportedly entering the contract negotiation stages -- albeit with some caution.From Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas:
The Dallas Mavericks are cautiously engaging in contract negotiations with Andrew Bynum after meeting with the free-agent center and his agent at a Dallas hotel Wednesday morning.
Sources told ESPN.com’s Marc Stein that $6 million of the $24 million offered by Cleveland is guaranteed. Bynum would be forced to reach a variety of incentive benchmarks to collect the full $12 million in Year 1, according to sources, while Year 2 was pitched by Cleveland as a team option year.
Yet it remains unclear how much guaranteed money Dallas will be willing to offer Bynum in a multiyear deal after launching the evaluation process in earnest with Wednesday’s meetings.
It appears as though an offer will be coming from the Mavericks, but it’s tough to predict where exactly it will land financially.
Dallas currently has just over $8 million in cap space available for next season, and dealing veterans like Shawn Marion or Vince Carter could easily create much more. But it’s been something that the team has seemed unwilling to do, at least to this point in the process.
Bynum averaged 18.7 points, 11.8 rebounds and 1.9 blocked shots per game in his best NBA season back in 2011-12 with the Lakers. But despite that tempting skill set, Dallas and Cleveland are going to only be willing to commit so much to someone whose injury history makes him a prohibitive long-term risk.