Mitch Kupchak and Andrew Bynum’s agent, David Lee, have spoken recently.
As far as Lakers fans are concerned, they might as well have been discussing the weather.
Lee said on Wednesday that Kupchak, the Lakers general manager, did not broach a possible contract extension for Bynum, the All-Star center who has one more year left on his contract.
“I saw the report,” Lee said of media accounts in which Kupchak said last week that the Lakers had begun discussions about an extension. “I think Mitch’s comment was that we had ‘a cordial and productive’ conversation. It was cordial and it was productive, but it had nothing to do with an extension.”
Kupchak actually used the phrase “productive and positive,” though the gist is the same.
Lee said the Lakers also had not asked about other teams Bynum might be willing to re-sign with, an inquiry that would likely be a precursor to a trade.
Lee would not say whether Bynum, who is slated to make $16.1 million next season, would prefer to secure a larger contract by waiting until next summer to sign an extension as opposed to signing one now. According to figures provided by independent collective bargaining agreement expert Larry Coon, Bynum could add three years and $57.1 million to his existing contract if he signed an extension.
By comparison, if Bynum re-signed after next season, he could command a maximum five-year, $101.9 million deal.
“When it comes to Andrew, we deal with things as they are presented to us as opposed to speculation,” Lee said. “It’s not even a conversation I’ve had with him because there’s no reason to have it. We don’t talk about things until we have to deal with them.”
Lee said Bynum had begun training workouts Wednesday in preparation for next season and was scheduled to begin working with Lakers assistant Darvin Ham early next week.
Meanwhile, the Lakers continue their pursuit of a backcourt player.
They currently have 13 players under contract for next season, if you include Devin Ebanks, whose agent recently told The Times that his client would sign the Lakers’ one-year contract offer for about $1 million: Bynum, Ebanks, Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Pau Gasol, Metta World Peace, Antawn Jamison, Jordan Hill, Josh McRoberts, Steve Blake, Christian Eyenga, Darius Morris and Andrew Goudelock.