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It’s time to start wondering whether we’re going to see Bynum again this year or even beyond. Earlier this season he mentioned that he was still considering retirement due to the persistent knee trouble that has plagued him his entire career. Without any interest throughout the league beyond a minimum contract, Bynum’s financial incentives, the only thing that was really motivating him, to put his body through the grinds of playing basketball may not be great enough to justify the pain that comes with it.
Still, he’s gifted enough that contending teams like the Miami HEAT or Los Angeles Clippers would probably give him a spot if he came off of his stance of not accepting the minimum. However, there clearly isn’t a big need for him on their end. They’ve made it clear than can do without him.
It’s his choice, but as of right now you can’t help but feel like the odds are more in favor of it being awhile before we see Bynum, if ever again. His next big pay day is likely a full season, if not more, of proving himself at a low salary away, which he may not find worth it. Even if he succeeded and got a new big deal, it would mean he’s stuck playing the game he’s lost his passion for and that continues to be aversive to his health. It’s easy to see how he could be ready to do something different with his life.
The Cavaliers have reached the point where it won’t just be the roster that is subject to change if they don’t have a strong second half of the year. At the end of the season, Grant, and even recently re-hired head coach Mike Brown, could find themselves on the out.
The trade deadline is their last opportunity make a personnel change and it’s safe to say that as long as it’s with making the playoffs this season in mind, Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert will sign off on it.
The Cavaliers have plenty of trade assets to work with, whether it be their young players still on their rookie contracts or the expiring contract of veteran big man Anderson Varejao. Expect them to be one of the most active teams in the final weeks prior to the deadline.
Between Andrew Wiggins’ recent explosion, Dante Exum signing with power agent Rob Pelinka and the development of Joel Embiid, chalk up Chris Walker’s clearance as just another reason to get excited about how the 2014 NBA Draft can be.
It was looking like we weren’t going to get the chance to see Walker this season as he dealt with eligibility issues that stemmed from accepting illegal benefits from two different agents, but he’s going to get back on the floor just in time to show NBA scouts why he’s a top-ranked prospect in the eyes of most high school talent evaluators.
Walker is an elite-level athlete with immense potential on the defensive end. There are questions right now about just how big of a part he’s going to have in Billy Donovan’s rotation, but with a month still left in regular season play, the postseason conference tournament and the NCAA Tournament, Walker will have plenty of opportunities to build his stock back up. He’s been practicing with the team for weeks now, which should help make his integration slightly easier.
If he decides to stay another year and get a full offseason of development under his belt at Florida, we’re talking about a potential top 10 pick in 2015.
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