DALLAS — The Dallas Mavericks started their Wednesday by engaging Andrew Bynum in a breakfast at the Crescent in downtown Dallas. The meal was the highlight of the Bynum-Mavs relationship.
Sources tell FoxSportsSouthwest.com that following the meeting between Bynum, agent David Lee, GM Donnie Nelson and coach Rick Carlisle, the Mavs opted not to push Bynum into working out because of the level of faith the Mavs have in their medical staff. Indeed, GM Donnie Nelson acknowledged that the staff, led by trainer Casey Smith, did meet with Bynum and researched his situation.
For legal reasons, the Mavs will not comment on the results of the testing, which was not only knee-related but also “head-to-toe,” as one source said.
And as a result, Dallas never presented him an offer, leaving him to accept the Cleveland deal, publicized as a “two-year, $24-million” contract but really just one that guarantees $6 million in the first year and a team option for the second.
What are the Cavs getting? What did the Mavs pass on?
There is reason to believe that Bynum’s well-documented “silly” personality and “immaturity” should be considered blockades to his development as a player, physically healthy or not. What happened as a result of the team’s medical investigation into Bynum’s knee? Suffice to say that when he arrives in Cleveland, he will face some serious questions about whether the Philadelphia-doctor-ordered rehab he’s supposed to have been doing following surgery is at all part of his daily regimen. And then there is Bynum’s physical condition, which can be considered a measure of just how serious he is about returning to a high level of play.
Eyewitnesses tell FoxSports.com that it didn’t take the medical staff to notice that the 7-footer Bynum (who plays at 285 pounds) is horribly out of shape. We can assume that the club’s medical testing confirmed the same.
In its center search, Dallas now visits with veteran Samuel Dalembert, considers ways to pry away in trade starters like Houston’s Omer Asik or Phoenix’ Marcin Gortat, and even experiments with another chronically injured center, Greg Oden.
As for Bynum? It was worth a try. Bynum, 25, missed the entire 2012-13 season with the 76ers after chronic knees problems ultimately required surgery. He had his best NBA season in 2011-12 with the Lakers, averaging 18.7 points and 11.8 rebounds.
Seeing if he really wants to get back there is worth the cost of his breakfast.
But Andrew Bynum did not demonstrate to the Mavs — in terms of mental readiness, knee rehabilitation or physical conditioning — that he really wants to bother getting back there.