The Cavs have signed Center Andrew Bynum to a 2 year contract with only $6 million guaranteed incentives up to $12 million and a team option for 2014-2015. Assuming Bynum’s health and performance the Cavs will pickup his 2nd year option. Given that the Cavs have spent energy and not signed specific players to keep enough cap space to sign a max level player in 2014, how Bynum effects that must be addressed.
As currently constituted a max level player could demand around $20 million dollars in the first year of their contract. The Cavaliers, if picking up Bynum’s option, will have to make some moves to fit that type of contract. A few issues that could cause problems with the Cavs cap space involve 2 assets that Chris Grant has acquired. The Kings and Grizzlies picks are possible after this year.
The Kings pick will be acquired if its #13 or lower. The Kings have made improvements this off-season but still lack a cohesive roster. They have added Ben McLemore in the draft but lost Tyreke Evans, acquiring Greivis Vasquez. They have also added Luc Mbah a Moute at small forward and Carl Landry at the power forward positions. These talents are added to center piece Demarcus Cousins and those 5 will make up the starting lineup. New Head Coach Mike Malone should provide a steady hand.
The Grizzlies will be breaking in a new head coach this year as well. The team will return most of the playoff roster from last year with stars Mike Conley, Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol. Yet Lionel Hollins was a huge part of what the team did, while they hired from within, and that could cause a downfall. The Grizzlies pick is uniquely protected as they would have to miss the playoffs but not hit in the top 10 of lottery.
If those two picks are not transferred to the Cavs the team will have decisions to make. One move that would have to be made is either the trading or out right release of Anderson Varejao. His value would depend on his health this season, much like Bynum’s. The problem in any trade is that other teams would be aware of the Cavs salary cap needs and could drive a hard bargain, but even another 2nd round pick, or a low 1st rounder is beneficial. The Cavs will also have to decline their option on 2013 free agent signee Earl Clark. Another benefit of the Bynum signing is, if they make the playoffs, is a lower 1st round pick therefore lower cap hold. These moves should put Cleveland in position to pursue high level free agents Lebron James and Carmelo Anthony.