Andrew Bynum has found yet another home, this time...the Indiana Pacers. Bynum will get paid around $1 million for the duration of the contract.
There was a lot of speculation that Bynum could've been on his way to South Beach to join the Miami Heat, but when Heat president Pat Riley was asked about the possibility of signing Andrew Bynum, he said "its speculation, that's all it is."
Well, that turned out to be true, as Bynum will be playing for arguably Miami's biggest rival in the Pacers.
You might say, well don't the Pacers already have enough size?
False, you can never have enough size when you are playing the Miami Heat. That is the one key advantage the Pacers have over the Heat, and is why they took Miami to a 7 game series last year.
Well, since Indiana already has a lot of size, how much will Andrew Bynum actually play? Will he really help the Pacers?
It depends on your definition of "help." Will he be the Laker Andrew Bynum? Or the Cleveland Andrew Bynum? There is a huge difference, Pacers fans surely hope they get the LA version, while Heat fans hope for the Cleveland Bynum.
With Roy Hibbert, David West, Luis Scola, and Ian Mahinmi already in the rotation, who loses playing time in favor of Andrew Bynum? If anyone does, its got to be Mahinmi.
Or what if no one does, and signing Bynum was just to keep him away from Miami?
Indiana Pacers president Larry Bird quickly shot down that rumor, as he said "that's about the dumbest thing I ever heard, we don't have money like that."
I have a lot of respect for Bird but I am not sure if I believe him here. I believe that was the main reason for signing Bynum, to keep him out of South Beach.
To answer the question I asked before, I believe we won't see the Cleveland Bynum in Indiana, but we won't see an All-Star level player either.
Part of the problem in Cleveland was that...well....he was in Cleveland. He didn't play for a winning team, and wasn't very motivated. That is no longer an issue now, as the Pacers are one of the best teams in the NBA.
On the other hand, he is not guaranteed to get playing time, he is lucky to even be on an NBA team, yet alone a team in contention for a championship.
Roy Hibbert is the starting center, and that is definitely not changing, and David West is the power forward. Luis Scola is going to get his minutes, and then comes Ian Mahinmi. After all of them, Bynum is next on the list.
The key to success for Bynum with the Indiana Pacers? Patience.
He isn't going to just step in and start for the Pacers, he's going to have to earn his time.
With the way Bynum has been acting in the NBA as of late, it doesn't seem very likely that adding him to the locker room will help the team chemistry either, only hurt it.
So, in conclusion, will not signing Bynum end up hurting the Heat when it comes playoff time?
I say NO! In all caps, bold ink, and an exclamation point at the end, not just any ordinary no.
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