We've said all along that Andrew Bynum represents an "imperfect Plan B.'' The All-Star-when-healthy center was in Dallas on Wednesday morning -- imperfections and all -- for what DB.com is told was a breakfast meeting at the Crescent Hotel, within walking distance of the AAC and a place familiar to visiting NBA players as many teams stay there when they come to Dallas.
Many teams, including the Lakers, the team that Bynum made his name with. The Mavs did not agree to the Crescent by accident; it's a "comfortability'' thing.
Sources tell DB.com the reason Bynum was not required to work out for the team is due to the level of faith the Mavs have in their medical staff. Indeed, GM Donnie Nelson acknowledged that the staff, led by trainer Casey Smith, did meet with Bynum researched the situation.
“We’re having a medical discussion,’’ said Nelson in the early afternoon. “We’ll have an opportunity to get with him and his agent and better understand the risks involved and make a good decision for our franchise.”
But shortly after that medical discussion comes the news: Andrew Bynum is accepting the Cleveland offer, publicized as a "two-year, $24-million'' contract but really just one that guarantees $6 million in the first year and a team option for the second.
It's become clear to me via sources ...
*How much Dallas wished to lean on that little-used section of the NBA Uniform Player Contract, Exhibit 3, in any bid it made.
*Whether Dallas even made any firm offer at all while engaging in talks.
*What happened as a result of the team's medical investigation -- which included investigations into more than just Bynum's knee.
I'll have more on those three angles -- which might cause Mavs followers to believe they dodged a bullet here -- later tonight.
Before Broussard broke the Cleveland signing news, Nelson said Bynum and agent David Lee “had a nice visit with our doctors, we had a lunch. Beyond that, the negotiations are ongoing …. We’re in the process of gathering information.”
We're told it was actually breakfast at the Crescent, with Bynum and Lee joined by Nelson and coach Rick Carlisle. ... and that the session went well.
But Bynum, 25, missed the entire 2012-13 season with the 76ers after chronic knees problems ultimately required surgery. The 7-foot, 285-pound center had his best NBA season in 2011-12 with the Lakers, averaging 18.7 points and 11.8 rebounds.
If it happens again for him this year, it happens in Cleveland.
Meanwhile, we acknowledge that all of that was just one order of Dallas Mavericks business on Wednesday. The introductory press conference on was designed as a showcase for rookies Shane Larkin, Ricky Ledo and Gal Mekel. Meanwhile, Nelson also termed the acquisition of free agent Monta Ellis a “longshot,’’ confirmed that the club is unlikely to bring back Roddy Beaubois, and joined coach Rick Carlisle in painting a positive picture of what the three rookie guards might add.
"We think this rookie class is probably a little more ready to step into the jumpseat than others we’ve had,’’ Nelson said.
As the Mavs continue to piece together a roster following the swing-and-a-miss bid on Dwight Howard, they are “in discussion,’’ Nelson said, with possible returnees Elton Brand and Brandan Wright. Dallas has Early Bird Rights on Wright, who in the wake of the Bynum news becomes an even higher priority. The Mavs can continue to explore trades (for the likes of Gortat and Asik), can put a Band-Aid on the center position by courting Dalembert, or could examine an Amnesty/post-Amnesty idea that we are in the process of working on.
And then there is the unthinkable that must be thought of: David Lord's 'Blueprint For Rebuilding,' featuring a one-year loan-out of Dirk, is here.
Again, more to come on the inside story of Bynum's visit to Dallas in a bit.