Andrew Bynum's time with the Cleveland Cavaliers didn't go exactly as we had hoped it would. It was impressive that he was healthy enough to play for the Cavs and be on the court almost every night, but he just wasn't the same player that he has been in the past. He was a step too slow on offense and more than a couple steps too slow on defense. In the end, the Cavs and Bynum went their separate ways. Cleveland suspended Bynum for "conduct detrimental to the team" and then traded him to the Chicago Bulls in exchange for Luol Deng.
Once the Bulls waived Bynum, he became a free agent and remained unsigned for several weeks. This weekend, Andrew Bynum found a new home. The Indiana Pacers signed Andrew Bynum for the remainder of the 2013-14 NBA season, according to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski. Multiple other sources have since confirmed the news and Bynum will be a Pacer.
Barring an unforeseen snag, Indiana will sign free agent center Andrew Bynum today, sources tell Yahoo Sports.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) February 1, 2014
I have no clue whether or not Bynum will be productive for the Pacers, but it doesn't hurt for them to try. If he can be mildly productive, he provides some backup for when Roy Hibbert gets into foul trouble. It's fair to say that Bynum fits the Pacers' defensive system much better than the Cavs' defensive system. They won't be asking him to move a whole lot -- just stand there and big huge and stuff.
The Pacers also have a much more stable locker room and support system in place. While the Cavs are a mess with or without Bynum, the Pacers have things completely under control. Either he'll buy in or he'll be gone. There's very little chance that he can be disruptive enough to throw off such a rock-solid group of guys.
Lots of people were quick to assume that Indiana was just signing Bynum to keep him away from the Heat, but Larry Bird scoffed at that idea.
Bird on perception he signed Bynum to keep him away from Heat: "That's about the dumbest thing I ever heard. We dont have money like that."— Stefan Bondy (@NYDNInterNets) February 1, 2014
Will we see Andrew Bynum vs. Greg Oden in the Eastern Conference Finals? That'd be crazy.