Yesterday the Lakers announced that they had picked up Andrew Bynum’s option for next season, which seemed like a guarantee that he would be back in purple and gold for at least one more year.
But that might not necessarily be the case. In fact, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles, Bynum’s representatives are expecting extension talks to take place this summer.
A source close to Bynum said that the All-Star center and the team have “not yet engaged” in any discussions about a long-term contract extension, but that Bynum’s camp “anticipated” those talks to occur sometime this offseason.
Still, if the Lakers are looking to make a significant trade during the off-season they really only have two movable assets that could bring back value in return – Bynum and forward Pau Gasol.
It’s no secret that the team is looking to move Gasol and get out from under his bloated contract, but there may not be as big of a market for an aging forward as there is for an up-and-coming center.
The team could be looking to move both Bynum and Gasol and bring in a couple different packages to build around Kobe Bryant. Or, the more popular choice would be to bring in a younger star player that can take the reigns once Bryant ultimately retires, securing the future of the team.