Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak Says Extension Talks with Andrew Bynum to Intensify
It remains uncertain at this point in time the intentions of the Los Angeles Lakers to retain All-Star center Andrew Bynum. Trade talks to acquire superstar center Dwight Howard in exchange for Bynum have reportedly been ongoing after the Brooklyn Nets were knocked contention recently. With that being said, the Lakers are legitimate contenders to acquire Howard, and as a result Bynum’s future with the team is in serious doubt.
Regardless of a potential blockbuster sending Howard to Los Angeles, the Lakers are reportedly ready to start contract extension talks with Bynum according to Elliot Teaford of the Los Angeles Daily News:
“Kupchak said he continues attempts to re-sign backup forward Jordan Hill and expects talks on a contract extension for center Andrew Bynum to intensify “sooner rather than later.” Assuming Bynum is still a member of the Lakers, that is.”
Kupchak’s comments on a contract extension with Bynum should be taken with a grain of salt. The same statement was made about Ramon Sessions, the up-and-coming point guard who wanted to stay with the Lakers long term. Obviously, that didn’t happen with the Lakers pulling off a sign-and-trade for Steve Nash and Sessions ultimately signing with the Charlotte Bobcats with a two-year deal.
If the Howard trade ultimately falls through over the next few weeks, the Lakers will immediately start serious discussions with Bynum in order to lock him up to a long-term deal. It seems fairly obvious as of right now that Howard is on the Lakers’ radar with no free agent signing or trades being made outside of the Nash deal.
With that being said, once Howard finally gets traded by the Orlando Magic, the Lakers will start making moves to address problems on the bench and keeping Bynum in Los Angeles.
Currently, the Lakers are looking into many different scenarios in order to upgrade the roster. O.J. Mayo and Courtney Lee are said to be targets for the Lakers in potential sign-and-trade deals. The Lakers are also expressing interest in Antawn Jamison, Anthony Tolliver and Jermaine O’Neal to help bolster the frontcourt off the bench.
Jordan Hill also remains in discussions to re-sign with the Lakers for a deal that might be worth $3.6 million per season. Both sides have shown mutual interest in getting a deal done.