Los Angeles Lakers Exercise Option On Andrew Bynum’s Contract

Andrew Bynum and Dwight Howard

Andrew Bynum and Dwight Howard

Since the Los Angeles Lakers lost to the OKC Thunder in the West Conference Semifinal last month, exiting the playoffs early for the second straight year in a row, experts and fans have speculated about the future of the team’s roster. Specifically, there’s talk about who will stay, who will be traded, and who will be released to free agency.

The Lakers revealed one clear decision on Monday (June 4), when the team announced that they have exercised their $16.1 million option on Andrew Bynum’s contract.

According to ESPN, Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak confirmed the Lakers would exercise the option last month, and made it official this week.

The Lakers had to pick up Bynum’s option by June 30 or the All-Star center would have become a free agent.

The 24-year-old 7-footer was named an All-Star for the first time in his seven-year career last season, putting up career bests with averages of 18.7 points and 11.8 rebounds per game. He also also named to the All-NBA second team.

Despite his impressive stats and proving how vital he is to the team’s success this season, there were some head-scratching moments for Bynum as well. He blew off a meeting with general manager Mitch Kupchak and also got into a little trouble when he launched an ill-advised 3-pointer during a game and vowed to shoot more of them after being benched by head coach Mike Brown for it.

Obviously, the team is looking past those things and seeing him as the future of the franchise.

“I think it’s pretty obvious how I feel about Andrew Bynum. He’s an incredible All-Star center, and you can build the future around him,” Lakers vice president of player personnel Jim Buss told ESPN last week.

ESPN.com says Bynum and the Lakers have yet to begin discussions abotu a long-term contract extension, but is expected to begin this off-season.

As far as the rest of the Lakers roster, we’ll have to wait and see. Stay tuned…

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