May 23, 2012, 6:02 PM EST
For a guy who at various parts of the year sounded indifferent about being a Laker — “there’s a bank in every town” — on the day of his exit interview Andrew Bynum said he wants to stay a Laker.
He will next season — the Lakers will certainly pick up his $16.1 million option. But he isn’t looking to get out of town after that. Via Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register.
“I don’t want to go anywhere,” Bynum said Wednesday. “Hopefully if i keep elevating my play, I won’t have to.”
“I can assure you I’m not waiting because I want to go somewhere,” Bynum said. “That’s for sure.”
Bynum likely will not sign an extension with the Lakers this summer, but that is for financial reasons not because he wants out. Under the new CBA, Bynum could only sign an extension for three more seasons after the next one with the Lakers (four years total), however if he plays next season and becomes a free agent he can sign for five years with the Lakers and get a larger pay bump.
The Lakers need major changes to their roster this summer and while they will shop Pau Gasol around they could get a larger return for Bynum. Other teams will ask about him. The question for the Lakers is this — do you think Bynum can stay healthy enough, and will he mature enough (on and off the court) that you can build around him after Kobe Bryant hangs up the sneakers? That will determine what moves they make.
But Bynum likes it in Los Angeles and isn’t looking to move.
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