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It’s official: Pacers sign Andrew Bynum for rest of season

Feb 1, 2014, 11:02 AM EDT

Chicago Bulls v Cleveland Cavaliers Getty Images

UPDATE  #2 11:02 a.m.: It’s official, the Pacers have announced that Andrew Bynum has signed with Indiana for the remainder of the season.

Bynum had wanted to play for more than the league minimum (we don’t yet know the details of the contract yet but the Pacers could offer more than the minimum) and for a contender, he got those things in Indiana.

“It really wasn’t a hard decision, I think it’s the right fit for me and, in all honesty, I think we’ve got the best chance of winning,” Bynum said in a statement released by the Pacers. “It will be great to back up Roy and I’ll do whatever I can to help this team.”

“We are obviously happy to have him join our team,” Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird said in a statement. “He gives us added size, he is a skilled big man and he has championship experience. With the minutes he gets, he should be a valuable addition.”

 This gives the Pacers an even bigger and more formidable front line. They start Roy Hibbert up front with David West and now off the bench can bring Bynum, Ian Mahinmi, Luis Scola and Chris Copeland. Just as importantly for them, the Miami Heat can’t sign Bynum and throw him at Indiana in what seems an inevitable Eastern Conference Finals matchup. 

UPDATE 8:53 a.m.: Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reports that “barring an unforeseen snag,” Indiana will sign Andrew Bynum today.

8:00 a.m.: Conventional wisdom has been the only reason the Indiana Pacers were in the discussion to sign Andrew Bynum was to keep him away from the Heat. However, since Greg Oden has played fairly well in limited minutes for Miami, talk of signing Bynum to bring him to South Beach kind of cooled and interest in Bynum overall seemed lukewarm.

Now it appears the Pacers are close to inking a deal with Bynum.

At least that’s the report from the Indy Star, something confirmed by Brian Windhorst of ESPN. Bynum and his agent met with the Pacers Friday night, according to the Indy Star.

Bynum’s agent David Lee told The Indianapolis Star that he and Bynum were in town. According to Lee, Bynum and the Pacers have not reached a contractual agreement.

“(Bynum) has not signed as yet,” Lee said on Friday night.

The Pacers have All-Star center Roy Hibbert as the starter and bring Ian Mahinmi off the bench in a rotation that has worked very well — the Pacers at 35-10 have the best record in the East. They are strong up front, a defensive force — they are not signing Bynum to plug a hole in their rotation. Which makes the signing curious, if it goes through.

Bynum started the season injured under contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers. He went on to play 24 games for them, starting 19, and he averaged 8.4 points a game on just 41.9 percent shooting, plus he grabbed 5.3 rebounds a game. On the court he was limited and with that lost favor with coach Mike Brown. Off the court he was enough of a distraction that the team suspended Bynum the day after Christmas. The Cavaliers traded his contract at the deadline to the Bulls, who instantly waived him.

Bynum has ongoing knee issues which have required multiple surgeries and there are questions of if Bynum has the will, dedication and love for the game to push through them in play.

Bynum was a free agent for more than two weeks and what was holding teams back was both the concerns about his desire and that he reportedly wants more than the league minimum to play (and teams were loath to offer that)

If the Pacers do sign Bynum at whatever may get a little run, but mostly this would be a preventative strike.

  1. cruzan80 - Feb 1, 2014 at 2:34 PM

    It’s a genius move simply for the fact that it keeps him away from the Heat. They don’t even have to play him to continue the dominance they’ve had over the league this season so far & probably into the post season…..he’s insurance…nothing else. If he acts up…they’ll cut….no harm done either way….win win situation.

    • antistratfordian - Feb 1, 2014 at 2:55 PM

      They started the season strong, but have since hit a rough patch – and they should’ve also lost that Kings game – so they’re constantly playing with fire right now. Paul George’s play has taken a dive recently as well.

      Maybe that’s why they felt they needed more assistance.

  2. vilelabyrinth - Feb 1, 2014 at 3:15 PM

    It’s amazing that this bum keeps getting money for nothing…hopefully he can put it all together (mentally) and help them this season.

    • trueballs - Feb 1, 2014 at 6:39 PM

      I’m tired of people caring about “bums” getting paid. I know it’s not a popular opinion, but IMO Bynum deserves every penny. He’s more talented at basketball than most of us will ever be at anything. He might as well make as much money as he can because he’ll be stuck in that huge body and in chronic pain for the rest of his life. Sure he’s been a pain in the ass, but so are many successful people. You just deal with it. Eventually there will be a time when the risk is not worth the reward and Bynum. the market will work itself out.

      Don’t feel bad for these billionaire owners who rigged the latest CBA for corporate welfare. They wanted to save themselves from giving out terrible deals. Let them overpay players.

      • topdawg4ever - Feb 4, 2014 at 3:52 PM

        Bynum’s problem is between his ears. He needs to decide to play all out for a team or retire.

  3. sdlakerfan - Feb 1, 2014 at 3:25 PM

    Yawn…minor insurance for when Hibbert gets in foul trouble…that’s all. People forget he only had one yr averaging over 15 pts per game – the yr after the two championships. In the first finals he was completely dominated by DH, was constantly in foul trouble, and averaged 6 pts and 5 rebs. 2nd finals against Boston, averaged 7.5 pts and 5 rebs and was hobbled during the last few games due to knee trouble. He also wasn’t known as a locker room cancer. Surprisingly bright guy actually but yes, immature. He’s slower than he was (already slow), not a defensive stopper like Hibbert but does have some post moves. Seriously doubt he’ll be a difference maker. The series will be epic this yr as two incredible teams face off yet again. This time Pacers will likely have the home court advantage, have even more talent, Miami will be dealing with the pressure of a 3-peat, Wade might not be as healthy, Miami will have an even better bench. Can’t wait to see it!!!

  4. casualcommenter - Feb 1, 2014 at 3:48 PM

    I honestly don’t think this changes the balance of power in the East.
    I saw Bynum play several games this year. He simply doesn’t move very well anymore.

    The Eastern Conference Finals will be Pacers vs. the Heat, and the healthier team will win, and I doubt Bynum gets any minutes.

  5. hollywood26 - Feb 1, 2014 at 4:06 PM

    Seems like a smart signing to me. You bring him in and the culture in the locker room will help keep him in line. Remember what people said about Lance Stephenson before he got there.

  6. money2long - Feb 1, 2014 at 4:25 PM

    you guys all know you want to see this team in action with a bynum comin off the bench. pacers just got more interesting. stop being all mad at money figures. ur not paying it. sit back and watch. stop hating on the millions , watch basketball.

  7. spyder9669 - Feb 1, 2014 at 4:46 PM

    “He wanted to play for more than the league minimum”

    How’s about this worthless piece of trash ACTUALLY PLAY instead of being a carcus on the end of yet another bench. How’s about playing for free to make up for the millions you have ALREADY STOLEN!!

    • av416 - Feb 1, 2014 at 7:17 PM

      I can’t help but feel that this was Indy’s way of just making sure he didn’t get to Miami. The prospect of Pat Riley and LeBron lighting a fire under him and getting him to play close to his potential was very scary to the Pacers and this was there why of making sure Bynum remains the undeserving overpaid, joke of a basketball player that he has solidified himself as. I can’t even make sense of Frank Vogel putting him in the lineup. EVER.

  8. time4complaints - Feb 1, 2014 at 4:49 PM

    Well said. This is Hibbert Insurance. Larry Bird is attempting to fortify his team’s only real advantage, size. If Bynum proves to be a cancer, he’ll be DNP’d every game and marginalized at the end of the bench. This isn’t a team like Cleveland where the coach is struggling to keep from losing the locker room . Bynum wont have an influence on any of his teammates. If he actually plays it’s a bonus. In business people buy million dollar insurance policies all the time that they hope to never use… If Hibbert has foul trouble in the playoffs or God forbid gets injured, this move is a better solution than relying on Mahinmi.

  9. 1972wasalongtimeago - Feb 1, 2014 at 5:23 PM

    Here’s the thing. For over a year, Oden’s been busting his butt trying to EARN a chance to contribute to the Heat. Total respect.

    Conversely, Bynum’s spent the last year letting his talent waste away, and couldn’t earn playing time for two of the worst teams in the league. Pacers just GAVE him a guaranteed contract.

    You see, down here it’s EARNED NOT GIVEN.

  10. spliff219 - Feb 1, 2014 at 5:28 PM

    why would you want this guy in your locker room when you really dont need him

    • ranfan12 - Feb 1, 2014 at 10:08 PM

      NBA teams do that alot. He comes in for a couple minutes and gives hibbert or someone else some rest. Someone gets hurt or can’t play, then he has a chance to shine. I mean that’s literally the point of being on a team if you aren’t a starter. Opportunity.

  11. jaerba - Feb 1, 2014 at 5:53 PM

    This feels an awful lot like the Pistons signing Sheed.

    Funny how people here are so quick to dismiss him.

  12. ranfan12 - Feb 1, 2014 at 8:25 PM

    Haha I called this. Probably a day or two off but I thought his chances were good that he’d be getting on a team by the end of the month. I think the reward is slightly higher than the risks, and if Bird is backing you up, you better play right or your days might be numbered lol

    • program33 - Feb 2, 2014 at 12:20 AM

      Watch the sudden change in his game. This is what he has been waiting for. Greg O. in Miami has his work cut out for him.

  13. billtetley53 - Feb 2, 2014 at 9:23 AM

    Pay no mind to kb2408. By the way, you do realize that hos old handle used to be lakerluver, right?

    This dummy doesn’t even know about the history of his own team or its players, yet he’s on other teams stories, making things up and throwing around wild accusations.

    This is a guy that is so wrapped up in his team and his well being is tied into whether the lakers are good or not. He’s 40 years old and has admitted he will cry like a little girl when Kobe retires, pretty creepy huh?
    He’s a hypocrite to the nth degree. He cries and cries when people say negative things about the lakers, whether they are tr

  14. billtetley53 - Feb 2, 2014 at 9:29 AM

    true or not, yet here he is, doing the exact same thing that he derides others for.

    He’s the biggest tool on this site.
    He reminds me of Deniros role in the movie the fan, Gil Renard, that’s what I used to call him.

    He acts like 4 seasons ago is relevant to this year, and can’t stand the fact that the lakers havent mattered to the title picture. for that period, and won’t matter to it for the very least for another 5.

    He leaves out a Sours team that was in the finals last year, because they swept out the lakers.

    He’s a blow hard, know nothing moron, more to be pitied than get angry at.

    I just point and laugh at him.

    • loungefly74 - Feb 3, 2014 at 10:07 AM

      what is creepy is what fuels you “anti-fans”…yeah, you…who spends their time only trash talking on other teams. who does that? someone with pent-up personal issues. every person i know to be an “anti-fan” seems to have some scarring effect on them that creates a negative vibe with everything involved in their life. here some advice, go get help and cheer/root for your team…instead of spewing the haterade.

      The Lakers are definitely in a low point in the franchise history but Laker fans know their team will do what is best for the franchise…they have been the best the past 30 years. yeah, i bring up past seasons because a fan looks at the big picture. also, no team can win it every year…if Laker fans are still happy about back-to-back titles that happened a few years ago, good for them. it part of the long legacy of greatness from the franchise. so you predict they will be not relevant for 5 more years? well, we will see….but history shows there is a great chance you will be incorrect.

  15. onlyavoice - Feb 2, 2014 at 12:28 PM

    EVERYONE said it couldn’t be done, Everyone but the Heat.
    No Way can a team win a championship playing small ball, with no true center,
    with no size.
    3 Consecutive Trips To The Finals & 2 Championships.
    If Pat Riley & Spo wanted Bynum, he would have been signed.
    Now Pacers Fans are GLOATING about signing a player that 29 other teams declined on,
    # 1 being the Miami Heat.

  16. drago2012 - Feb 2, 2014 at 1:59 PM

    I can see it now, the basketball Gods will enable Bynum to play well enough to take Indiana pacers to the promised land. Folks , we got irony written all over here. Would love nothing more then Indiana to ice the Miami Heat and chase LeBron to Chicago!!! Daaaaa Buuuuuullllsss!!!

  17. 1historian - Feb 2, 2014 at 2:40 PM

    Now that this guy works for the Pacers, in that they pay his salary whatever it is, perhaps it might be worth paying to be there the first time he gets ‘the look’ from Larry Bird.

  18. jtbsteeler - Feb 4, 2014 at 7:53 AM

    Pacer fans you’re fools if you think you can win a championship with George “Deer Eyes” HIll playing the point. There’ s been a concerted effort to give Lance more ball-handling duties because George “scared of the boogeyman” Hill wont get it done.

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