The Cleveland Cavaliers met on Monday with free agent center Andrew Bynum, the oft-injured seven-footer who did not play a single game for the Philadelphia 76ers last year because of a knee injury.
The 25-year-old Bynum, the most attractive center on the market now that Dwight Howard has signed with Houston, met with team officials at Cleveland Clinic Courts, the club’s suburban facility, a person familiar with the visit said.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of negotiations.
Yahoo Sports reported on Monday night that the Cavaliers made a two-year offer to Bynum, citing league sources.
Cavs general manager Chris Grant is hoping to land a big man to play alongside All-Star guard Kyrie Irving, but the team wants to first make sure Bynum is healthy before offering him a deal.
The Dallas Mavericks are also reportedly interested in Bynum after not getting Howard.
With more than US$15 million under the projected salary cap, the Cavs may be interested in offering Bynum a lucrative one-year deal. They may not want to tie up any money beyond next season because they intend to be active in free agency next summer, when their will be several top-tier players available, maybe even LeBron James, who can opt out of his contract with Miami after next season.
Before he was traded to the 76ers last summer, Bynum played for the Los Angeles Lakers under Cleveland coach Mike Brown. In his one season with Brown, Bynum had his best season, averaging 18.7 points and 11.8 rebounds.
He was acquired by Philadelphia last year as part of a four-team trade, but he never got on the floor and the Sixers disintegrated.
Bynum underwent arthroscopic surgery on both knees in March.
Last month, his agent, David Lee, said there was “not a concern in the world” about Bynum being ready for training camp.
If the Cavs are able to sign Bynum, and assuming he is healthy, they would immediately move back into playoff contention in the Eastern Conference. Bynum would be added to a nucleus that includes Irving, Brazilian star Anderson Varejao, Tristan Thompson, Dion Waiters and Anthony Bennett, the No. 1 overall pick in last month’s NBA draft.
In other free agency moves, the Los Angeles Lakers have reached an agreement with seven-foot center Chris Kaman, just days after Howard decided not to return to the team, opting to join the Rockets instead.
The deal is reportedly for one year at US$3.2 million.
It will be the 31-year-old Kaman’s second straight season on a one-year contract. He had an US$8 million deal to be the starter in Dallas last season, but averaged the fewest minutes of his career because he struggled on the defensive end in coach Rick Carlisle’s system. Kaman scored 10.5 points per game, but matched a career low with 5.6 rebounds and had his lowest average in blocks at 0.8.
The Denver Nuggets have also agreed to separate sign-and-trade deals that will land them guard Randy Foye from the Utah Jazz and send Andre Iguodala to the Golden State Warriors, a person familiar with the decision said on condition of anonymity on Monday.
The Warriors had planned to sign Iguodala to a four-year, US$48 million deal as a free agent last week. Instead, the restructured deal will give Golden State more salary cap flexibility, deliver Denver a US$9 million trade exception and help Utah build for the future with expiring contracts and draft picks. Foye averaged 10.8 points and two assists while playing all 82 games for the Jazz last season.