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Irish Coffee: Why an Andrew Bynum trade isn’t crazy
Posted By Ben Rohrbach On December 30, 2013 @ 11:02 am In General | 40 Comments
The Cavaliers  suspended 26-year-old former All-Star center Andrew Bynum  indefinitely over the weekend — a penalization for detrimental conduct that the team lifted after all of 24 hours before placing him on paid leave  — so rumors have swirled around Cleveland dealing the oft-injured, much-maligned, weird-hairdoed 7-footer.
Naturally, Celtics  president of basketball operations Danny Ainge is doing his due diligence to determine Cavs owner Dan Gilbert ‘s asking price. In a series of tweets on Saturday , Bill Simmons lumped the Celtics  in with the title-contending Clippers and Heat among Bynum’s suitors, but there’s a catch to all this.
Regardless of whether or not Bynum eventually lands in Los Angeles or Miami — the latter of which Gilbert would probably like to prevent — the Celtics may still be interested in acquiring him, if only for his quirky contract.
This past summer, after missing the entire 2012-13 NBA season due to knee injuries, Bynum signed a two-year, $24.8 million deal in Cleveland, but the structure of the contract is a unique one. Only $6 million is guaranteed should the Cavaliers  or any potential trade partner cut him prior to Jan. 7. Likewise, next year’s $12.5 million price tag does not become guaranteed until July 10, so there are salary cap-saving options galore.
If the Cavaliers  and Bynum will ultimately be parting ways, in a strange way there’s no time like the present for them to sell high on him. Of course, the Celtics wouldn’t be willing to part with Rajon Rondo  for a guy who’s played just 24 games since 2011-12 and remains on leave for what appears to be a disdain for playing basketball, so a deal between the two teams would have to be a larger one.
Cavaliers blog Fear the Sword  proposed an interesting swap (h/t Red’s Army ): Jeff Green  and Courtney Lee  for Bynum and one of Cleveland’s two first-round picks in 2014. The Cavs possess their own first-rounder and the Kings’ top selection (protected 1-12) in this coming June’s loaded draft. With two potential lottery picks and fresh off the disastrous No. 1 overall choice of Anthony Bennett, Cleveland may be willing to part with a prized pick for Green, who the Cavaliers were rumored to be interested in as a third party during the Omer Asik sweepstakes.
So, why would it make sense for the Celtics to part with their leading scorer? Ainge’s stockpiling of first-round picks is no secret, and by cutting Bynum before Jan. 7 (or even at season’s end), he could shave as much as $36.5 million off the cap through 2016 by shipping Green and Lee’s $15 million combined annual salaries. Such a deal slices the C’s guaranteed commitments to just $35.5 million next season, offering complete flexibility on the free agent market while landing a third first-round pick for the league’s most loaded draft in a decade.
Suddenly, trading Green for Bynum doesn’t seem so strange. And if Cleveland won’t take on the remaining $11.1 million due Lee after this season, Ainge might assuage those concerns by including Keith Bogans instead, still saving the Celtics $25.5 million through 2016. This is the kind of creative thinking that expedites the rebuild.
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 : #disqus_thread
 Cavaliers: http://audio.weei.com/basketball/cleveland-cavaliers.htm
 Andrew Bynum: http://audio.weei.com/basketball/andrew-bynum.htm
 placing him on paid leave: http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/10209647/andrew-bynum-cleveland-cavaliers-paid-going-forward-team-says
 Celtics: http://audio.weei.com/basketball/boston-celtics.htm
 Dan Gilbert: http://audio.weei.com/basketball/dan-gilbert-cavs.htm
 a series of tweets on Saturday: http://awesomescreenshot.com/03a25esl8e
 Rajon Rondo: http://audio.weei.com/basketball/rajon-rondo.htm
 Fear the Sword: http://www.fearthesword.com/2013/12/28/5250970/cavaliers-trade-speculation-moving-on-from-andrew-bynum
 Red’s Army: http://redsarmy.com/2013/12/29/celtics-linked-to-rumors-involving-andrew-bynum/
 Jeff Green: http://audio.weei.com/basketball/jeff-green.htm
 Courtney Lee: http://audio.weei.com/basketball/courtney-lee.htm
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