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Lakers pick up option on Bynum. Now things get interesting.

Jun 4, 2012, 11:04 PM EDT

Dallas Mavericks v Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images

There was never a question whether or not the Lakers would pick up their $16.1 million option on Andrew Bynum. He was a lock to stay.

The question has always been what is next?

The Lakers made it official Monday that they picked up Bynum’s option for next season. It’s not the smart move, it was the only move. You don’t let young All-Star centers walk for nothing.

But now what?

Bynum can be a free agent next summer. The Lakers need to either convince Bynum to stay — he says he wants to, but they need to make sure he knows he is the post-Kobe heart of the franchise. Which leads to the question of if you want to do that, he is temperamental and injury prone. Is he really the future anchor.

The Lakers also can trade him. They would for Dwight Howard, but that’s the long shot. The Lakers need to shake up their roster and the only way to do it is to trade Bynum or trade Pau Gasol, and the Lakers will listen to offers for both. Gasol is the more likely to be moved, but Bynum could draw more in return.

So now we’re through the part we knew would happen, Bynum is staying a Laker next season.

Now it gets interesting.

  1. mosesjackson1976 - Jun 4, 2012 at 11:36 PM

    Reblogged this on makeumtakeum and commented:
    Nice move. Still not trusting Jim Buss when it involves Bynum. If Dwight is available for a straight up trade, will he pull the trigger?

  2. muhangis - Jun 5, 2012 at 12:16 AM

    Yes interesting indeed. Lakers get nowhere w/o this guy, and he’s equally as good as Howard when he gets the minutes (-D on DH, +O on DH). And he’ll be the anchor for many years to come…. if they trade him they better get a ton.

    • wfon1 - Jun 6, 2012 at 12:36 AM

      no one will argue his talent and how he has helped this team. the problem is that he doesnt seem reliable in the long run because of his maturity level. thats a pretty big risk.

  3. coats2m - Jun 5, 2012 at 1:59 AM

    Bynum has played 7 years in the league and he still shows that he needs improvement. I now he is young, but he lacks the work ethic of a Kobe Bryant/World Peace. He shows up for defense only when he wants to, and if he doesn’t get going early offensively, most of the time he is a non factor offensively. The kid can play, and when he is pissed plays some of the best defense I have seen. That said he’s a 50-50 crap shoot every night as to his level of effort on the court. Pau is the same, except its probably more like 80-20 in his case, in which 80% of the time Pau brings that weak excuse for a game. Personally, get rid of them both for Dwight howard. Then again, what do I know? I just a fan at home, who wishes I had half the talent of every player mentioned here…..

  4. lakerade - Jun 5, 2012 at 4:06 AM

    This past season was a breakout year for Bynum, his game is continuing to develop, but just like you can’t teach height, you can’t teach heart.

  5. anhdazman - Jun 5, 2012 at 6:50 AM

    Did the last guy just say that Bynum has heart? Tell Bynum to watch KG on the Celtics that’s HEART. Bynum did more disappearing acts in the play-offs, I didn’t see much heart.

    • bchapman2011 - Jun 5, 2012 at 10:10 AM

      Anhdazman…..reading is fundamental. He was alluding to the fact that Bynum sometimes lacks heart.

      • bozosforall - Jun 5, 2012 at 10:40 AM

        KG is a thug, plain and simple.

  6. borderline1988 - Jun 5, 2012 at 7:49 AM

    Bynum is still an excellent centre who of course the Lakers couldn’t let walk…players like that are very rare in the NBA.
    That being said, he’s too immature to be the face of a franchise. If he’s the best player and leader of the team, than the Lakers are going out in the first round for many years to come. People are waiting for this guy to mature..but it seems as though he acts with more and more arrogance and impunity for others every year.

    Basically, I don’t see why the Lakers shouldn’t keep this group intact. They’re still one of the best 3 or 4 teams in the West, and I have a feeling that Kobe still wants to play for 5 years at least. They just need to tinker with the supporting cast. There are no magic moves to change around the franchise completely. I’d ride this to the end (just like the Celtics are doing) and you can still get competitive years, and if things go right, you never know, they may be in the NBA Finals again (see Boston Celtics…)

    • bozosforall - Jun 5, 2012 at 10:41 AM

      Maybe they can find themselves a McHale-like clone who will give them a KG-like clone for practically nothing, like the Celtics got.

  7. skids003 - Jun 5, 2012 at 8:04 AM

    $16.1 million? I bet he’ll be bankrupt 3 years after his career ends.

  8. patfic15 - Jun 5, 2012 at 8:09 AM

    If I’m LA, no way I trade one immature headcase for another immature headcase. Bynum lacks any marketable traits that all stars possess. Instead, it appears as though he simply wakes up before every game, slugs through it and accidentally does well at times.

  9. lakerluver - Jun 5, 2012 at 8:36 AM

    @skids003, just because you’re a broke loser doesn’t mean Bynum will be as well. Every former player doesn’t end up broke shortly after they retire. We only hear about the ones that are. Bynum appears to be a very intelligent young man. You rarely read about former LAKERS going broke. As for those that left comments questioning Bynum’s heart, did you question his heart when he played on a completely blown out knee?! Bynum showed more heart than any player I’ve seen in helping the LAKERS win that 2nd title. That being said, he is indeed very immature. On the other hand, he’s very talented. Immaturity is one thing but he doesn’t have a reputation of abusing drugs/alcohol, fathering a bunch of children, or hanging out in strip clubs or casinos. I would keep him (as I’m sure the LAKERS will do) and move Pau for the best deal we can get. If Bynum stays healthy the LAKERS have an all star center for the next several seasons and can build around him. Bynum is very bright (so I’ve heard), I’m willing to take the chance on him maturing into the cornerstone of the franchise.

    • loungefly74 - Jun 5, 2012 at 9:04 AM

      @lakerluver – I’m glad I can just let you step up to the podium and preach. you save me a lot of writing. go LAKERS…

  10. omniusprime - Jun 5, 2012 at 9:05 AM

    Good deal keeping Bynum for another season, now to find a better team to put around him to win another title or three. It may well be time to shop Gasol and find a younger more hungry power forward to bring to LA. Most importantly it’s time to ditch McRoberts and Murphy who stunk up the court last year Plus the Lakers need a real coach, not that loser Clown Brown!

    • loungefly74 - Jun 5, 2012 at 10:10 AM

      prime, i feel ya man…but i think we owe it to brown on giving him one more year. it was a weird season (shortened season, no normal preseason, the C-Paul debacle, etc…). Lets see what he can do in a “normal” year…unless…a high profile coach comes our way! (on my knees praying for Phil to hear my wishes!)

      • bozosforall - Jun 5, 2012 at 10:44 AM

        Word has it that Phil Jackson is healthy again. Ditch Brown and bring Jeannie’s man home to LA.

  11. joshm5683 - Jun 5, 2012 at 9:10 AM

    I don’t think Bynum will be broke. He wasn’t 1 of these guys who has a huge entourage and no common sense. His hobbies include reading and building computers, and he has said if he wasn’t in the NBA he would want to be a software engineer, so that leads me to believe that he has a brain and won’t just squander it on 8 Bentleys. However, there are plenty of really smart people who have gone bankrupt as well.

  12. chiveteej - Jun 5, 2012 at 10:44 AM

    If I’m LA, the only way Bynum leaves is if Howard comes. You’d have to be a moron to let a talented, true center leave your team. It appears he wants to stay, just give him another contract.

  13. dirtydavis - Jun 5, 2012 at 12:41 PM

    Trade A. Bynum ASAP!!! His value has risen, therefore Lake-show must take advantage of this rare opportunity . There is no way Bynum will ever complete a 82 game schedule. This guy has had bang up knees before he entered the draft.

  14. ahemahem - Jun 6, 2012 at 6:03 PM

    I kept hearing announcers saying how old the Lakers were. NOT TRUE (just look at Boston right now) Plus, only the old guys showed up against OKC (Kobe, World Peace).

    The Lakers’ problem was the lack of a system (or buy-in). They have all the parts RIGHT NOW. They need to figure out what to do from a coaching standpoint.

  15. donjericho - Jun 6, 2012 at 6:14 PM

    Bynum is inconsistent, how do you go from a triple double (with blocks) to being out played by McGee? He gets bullied off the low post by smaller players like Perkins, rushes his shots. An Ibaka type player who protects the rim is what this team needs from it’s front court. Ibaka, Perkins and Collison were able to outplay our front court. only player who showed any hunger was Jordan Hill who probably earned himself a contract.

  16. stayhigh_247 - Jul 29, 2012 at 9:15 PM

    I like Drew 95% of the time, but with that being said, even in the post Kobe era this wont ever fully be his team like Olajuwon ,Ewing, David Robinson or Tim Duncan owned their teams. Skill wise he has all the tools but until he grows up he wont ever be looked at as a leader like the aforementioned players. At the very least he’s going to need a point guard and a solid 3 or 4 and to compete at Laker levels that means other star players with strong will sorta like the guy they have now at the 2. At this point it loks like Drew will always be part of a 1, 2 punch but never the sole headliner.

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