The Los Angeles Lakers have picked up the $16.1 million option on Andrew Bynum’s contract. At this point, it makes Bynum a Laker for the upcoming 2012-2013 NBA season. The Lakers certainly seemed to be handcuffed in this whole situation with Bynum, whether or not to trade him or keep him. It is certainly a gamble that the Lakers are willing to take, and one where they may have to just hope that he matures enough to earn a long-term contract from them.
It feels as though around the Los Angeles Lakers, Andrew Bynum has all the power and he knows it. The way he behaved during the season, he knows at some point in the near future he is going to inherit the position of being the face of the Los Angeles Lakers. He has placed Lakers management in a predicament, and the worst part about it is that his skill set makes him one of the best players in the NBA, but his behavior often takes away from his talent.
It is going to be easy to question whether or not Lakers management is making the right decision, but when looking at how the team is currently constructed, Bynum is the one bright star surrounded by a cast of aging players. It is clearly evident that Kobe Bryant can no longer do it by himself anymore, and Andrew Bynum is reaping the benefits of being a potentially great player and more importantly a young player, which the Lakers are in desperate need of at the moment.
The upcoming season for Andrew Bynum will essentially determine whether he remains the long-term answer for the Lakers once Kobe Bryant retires. Lakers management has done their part in picking up the option on Bynum’s current contract. He now needs to show management that he is the player and person that they can invest in for the future of the team. The Lakers know Bynum’s value to the team is immeasurable especially when considering that their current superstar, Kobe Bryant, is on the backend of a Hall of Fame career.