Team to watch in chase for Andrew Bynum: Cleveland. Hearing Cavs not only have legit interest but can also make lucrative one-year offer— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 8, 2013
Cavs likely won't be factor if Bynum proves healthy enough to command multi-year deal. But hard to beat if Bynum settles for one-year pact— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 8, 2013
I'm absolutely all for this if Bynum is willing to take a one-year deal. The Cavs have ~$47.1 million committed to the roster once including rookie salaries (including Anthony Bennett at $4.4 million and Sergey Karasev at $1.2 million) and C.J. Miles' non-guaranteed deal. With the salary cap hovering around $58.5 million this season, the Cavaliers could guarantee Bynum at least $11 million for this one season, or even slightly more if they decide to decline Miles' option.
I'd assume they'd also include a team option -- as has been their M.O. this offseason -- near the maximum allowed salary for a single season if he performs well. It's also worth mentioning that the CBA has something called "Exhibit 3," which is basically an injury provision that lets a team walk away from a contract if there is a pre-existing injury involved prior to signing. Larry Coon explains it much better than I can. It's what allowed the Timberwolves to cut ties with Brandon Roy this season without owing him any money despite signing a two-year deal last offseason. If something like that can be included, even better.
Coon: I'd say four years, $64 million -- with an "Exhibit 3" to protect them. Bynum is an interesting case. If healthy, you know that some team is going to max him out. But he's not healthy, and never really has been. Contracts can be written with an escape clause called Exhibit 3, which is a prior injury exclusion. It's what Brandon Roy got with the Timberwolves, and it allowed them to walk away from Roy without owing additional money. It says that if the team waives the player because of a prior, known injury, then his salary is not guaranteed. Exhibit 3 is tailor-made for this situation, and gives teams the insurance they need to offer him a higher salary.
For a team needing to spend money to hit the cap floor right now, this is a pretty much as low-risk, high-reward as it gets. It's an excellent idea if Bynum is willing to come aboard. I still think that in the end, some team like the Mavericks guarantees him multiple years at near $10-12 million per season, but if the market is worse for him than I am envisioning this could be a marriage made in heaven.