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Earlier this week, Shams Charania sent out an unexpected tweet. According to Charania, Andrew Bynum is attempting a comeback and hopes to work out with teams before training camp. Bynum has hired representation and is working out prior to meeting with teams. This move is "out of the blue" considering Bynum last played in 2013–2014. However, he wants to give it another go.
Andrew Bynum started his career with the LA Lakers. He was their tenth pick of the 2005 NBA draft. He played for the Lakers for seven years before he was traded. While with the Lakers, Bynum won two championships. He won a championship in 2009 and 2010. He was also an All-Star during his time with the Lakers. It was the first (and only) time Bynum was an All-Star, and he was voted the starting center.
Bynum's best season, both as a Laker and in his career was during 2011–2012. He averaged 18.7 points and 11.8 rebounds in 35.2 minutes. All three averages were career highs. The Lakers traded Bynum after his best season with them. In the off-season, the Lakers traded Bynum in a four-team deal that sent him to the Philadelphia 76ers and Dwight Howard to the Lakers. The deal seemed like a good idea, but neither player worked out with their new teams. Dwight Howard stayed one season with the Lakers and Andrew Bynum never played a single game with the Sixers.
The Sixers acquired Bynum, but they could not use him. Before training camp, he underwent treatments on his knees. Philadelphia prevented him from participating in basketball-related activities for a few weeks. He dealt with other knee complications, including a left knee injury he suffered while bowling. His bowling injury deterred his progress. Ultimately, he had surgery on both knees that prevented him from playing that season. In other words, Bynum's stint with the Sixers ended before it even started.
In the off-season, Bynum signed with a new team. He signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers, a team that he played 24 games for. Bynum averaged 8.4 points and 5.5 rebounds during his time with the Cavs. He was suspended indefinitely from the Cavs in December of this season after an incident during practice. He was thrown out of practice for shooting the ball every time he received it, no matter how far he was from the basket. His actions were "detrimental" from the team and the Cavs handled the situation in a way they thought was appropriate. The Cavs later traded Bynum to the Chicago Bulls in exchange for Luol Deng. The Bulls waived him the same day.
After he was waived from the Bulls, Bynum signed with the Indiana Pacers. He played two games with the Pacers and averaged 11.5 points. Swelling and soreness in his knee prevented him from playing the rest of the season. Bynum has not played since then.
Andrew Bynum is 30 years old and will turn 31 nearly a week after the season opener. His age and his (injury) history must be considered. It is likely that Bynum has matured, so I don't expect any incidents like the one in Cleveland. However, his knees are still in question. A player with a history of knee injuries is typically a risk. Although, in Bynum's case, it could be a low-risk, high-reward scenario. Bynum could contribute to a team, but for limited minutes. It should also be for the right price. A team should not overpay for Bynum, no matter how healthy he appears.
Some teams in the NBA can use Bynum on their bench. His former team, the Lakers, could potentially use him as a backup center. In this year's off-season (which was the summer of LeBron), the Warriors made a move of their own. They signed DeMarcus Cousins, who is arguably the best center of the NBA. When he returns from his injury, Cousins could make the Warriors even better. The Lakers need a way to counteract Cousins. If JaVale McGee isn't enough, Andrew Bynum could be another option.
Can Andrew Bynum come back to the NBA? Personally, I think so. If the right team and right opportunity come along, they should go for it.