The breakfast meeting on Wednesday, July 10 was staged at the Crescent -- Dallas' most popular hotel for visiting teams and therefore a source of comfort to Andrew Bynum. Bynum and agent David Lee were joined by GM Donnie Nelson and coach Rick Carlisle. ... and that the session went well.
But little went well after that.
Sources tell DB.com that Dallas opted not to push Bynum into working out because of 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 and researched the situation.
For legal reasons, the Mavs will not comment on the results of the testing. But as Bynum was 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, we did learn at the time:
There is reason to believe that Bynum's well-documented "silly'' personality and "immaturity'' should be considered blockades to his development as a player, physically healthy or not. The Mavs are an organization that has worked with many people with "unique'' personalities; Delonte West was embraced until a line was repeatedly crossed.
Bynum, it is fair to say, lives his life crossing that uncross-able line. ... and the Mavs believe they have on staff some of the top psychologists and sports psychologists in the country. ... and again, came away from their meeting with Bynum unimpressed in this department.
What happened as a result of the team's medical investigation into Bynum's knee? Suffice to say that when he arrived in Cleveland, people in Dallas believed he would face some serious questions about whether the Philadelphia-doctor-ordered rehab he's supposed to have been doing following surgery was ever at all part of his daily regimen.
And then there is Bynum's physical condition, which can be considered a measure of just how serious he is about returning to a high level of play.
Eyewitnesses tell DallasBasketball.com that it didn't take the medical staff to notice that the 7-footer Bynum (who plays at 285 pounds) was horribly out of shape. We can assume that the club's medical testing confirmed the same.
And so even as Donnie Nelson was telling the media publicly on July 9 that "negotiations are ongoing …. We’re in the process of gathering information,'' the Mavs were done with Bynum shortly after breakfast. The information gathered resulted in Dallas very quickly shutting down the idea of even making an offer.
It was worth a try. (Just as, frankly, it was worth a try for Cleveland to make its relatively low-risk signing followed now by the indefinite suspension.) It was worth buying him breakfast. Bynum, 25, missed the entire 2012-13 season with the 76ers after chronic knees problems ultimately required surgery. He had his best NBA season in 2011-12 with the Lakers, averaging 18.7 points and 11.8 rebounds.
Seeing if he really wanted to get back there was worth the cost of his breakfast at the Crescent.
But Andrew Bynum did not demonstrate to the Dallas Mavericks -- in terms of mental readiness, knee rehabilitation or physical conditioning -- that he really wanted to bother getting back there.
So the Mavs didn't bother making him an offer. And now -- if they didn't already -- the Cavs know why.