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Andrew Bynum to meet with Cavs, Hawks, Mavericks

Jesse Johnson-US PRESSWIRE

According to Marc Stein, Bynum is meeting with the Cavs today, and will meet with the Hawks and Mavericks later in the week. The Cavs, reportedly, will offer no more than a one-year deal, but currently can offer and seem willing to offer a rich one. The Mavs and Hawks, of course, are spurned Howard suitors.

Andrew Bynum is not a nice man. While this is true of a lot of basketball players, and can even be an asset on the course, Bynum takes it to another level. Mavs fans will remember his attack on the defenseless J.J. Barea in the playoffs, but it was his second such attack that season. His first broke Gerald Wallace's ribs. And of the star players in the NBA, only Bynum has publicly admitted to ignoring his coach in the huddles.

The appeal, however, is obvious. The difference between what Bynum COULD be and what anyone else the Mavericks could get this season already are big as Bynum himself. It's easy enough to say that you don't want that jerk, but if you take a look at this page, of 2014 free agents, you might change your mind. LeBron James is probably not leaving Miami, but if he is, it's not to the Mavericks. The Pacers are more or less guaranteed to lock in Paul George, and the Pistons Greg Monroe (probably, but they're crazy). The top centers, Bogut and Gortat, are already Mavs targets. There's not a lot there.

With a healthy, productive Bynum, the Mavericks are set at the two most important positions on the court, and the two positions most essential to maximizing what Dirk Nowitzki can do, point guard and a big, back-to-the-basket, rim-defending center. However, having missed so many games before last year, then all of last year, for the same knee problem, it seems pretty likely that a "healthy, productive Bynum" just isn't going to happen. But who knows? It seems like a guy who had fully returned to health would be willing to work out for teams, but then again, for the guy who once said "there's an ATM in every city," who knows?

The important details: There are only, at this point, three teams in the Bynum sweepstakes, and only one of them gives him the opportunity to pair with an all-world player, no disrespect to Al Horford who is great, but with Bynum a little redundant. And one of them, not the Mavericks, does not seem willing to pay him for more than two years. Yes, this might mean the Mavericks would have to pony up more guaranteed cash than they want, but it seems likely to me that the same guy who was unwilling to work out for teams to prove his health isn't going to be willing to play on a one year contract, however lucrative.

It can be really hard to tell the distance, here, between a chance the Mavs have to take to be relevant and one they'd be crazy to take. More on this story as it happens.