The Dallas Mavericks have appeared to be the strongest suitor for Andrew Bynum thus far, but Bynum might have another team vying for his services.
Assuming he's willing to take a one-year deal.
ESPN's Marc Stein reported Sunday night that the Cleveland Cavaliers "have joined the Dallas Mavericks as a prime team to watch in the race to sign free-agent center Andrew Bynum."
Stein writes, citing sources close to the process, that the "Cavaliers are legitimate contenders to sign Bynum after his lost season in Philadelphia, especially if the former Los Angeles Lakers All-Star is willing to sign a one-year deal."
Beyond the obvious concerns over Bynum's knees, the Cavaliers' interest in a one-year deal is predicated, according to Stein, on their desire to preserve cap space for the 2014 offseason, when they plan to make a run at re-acquiring LeBron James or inking other names in a deep free-agent class to play alongside Kyrie Irving and 2013 No. 1 pick Anthony Bennett.
As for anything beyond one year, Stein goes on to mention that the Dallas Mavericks have been conducting "an exhaustive evaluation process" to determine whether or not a long-term deal makes sense considering Bynum's injury history. Stein also mentions that the Atlanta Hawks are potentially interested in Bynum but are more focused on signing free agent Monta Ellis.
The Sixers acquired Bynum in a four-team team trade with the Lakers, Magic and Nuggets last summer. Bynum missed training camp and was originally expected to play opening night, but one timetable begat another and Bynum ended up never taking the floor in a Sixers uniform. He was shut down for good in March when he opted for season-ending arthroscopic surgery on both his knees.
New Sixers general manager Sam Hinkie has not officially ruled out the prospect of bringing back Bynum, but also hasn't has said anything to indicate that the Sixers are aggressively pursuing him.
"We haven’t had a whole lot of contact [with Bynum]," Hinkie said hours after last month's NBA draft. "There’s been a whole lot of work behind the scenes. I think we’ll be open-minded and respectful. Andrew is a free agent and one we’ll have some discussions with. And we’ll sort of see where it goes."