After emerging as one of the NBA’s best young big men with the Los Angeles Lakers, injuries quickly ended Andrew Bynum’s promising career. He was essentially retired from pro basketball at the age of 26, just two years after a season where he averaged 18.7 points and 11.8 rebounds for the Lakers. Now 30-years-old and over four years removed from his last stint in the league, the former All-NBA Second Team center appears to be planning a comeback. Can he make it a successful one despite the long layoff and the faster brand of NBA basketball that became popular in recent years?
In a tweet earlier on Sunday, The Athletic writer and analyst Shams Charania tweeted about Andrew Bynum’s planned comeback, noting that the former All-Star big man has hired an agent in hopes of making a return to the NBA. At the moment, it’s not clear if he has any team he prefers to play for, but he is reportedly planning to schedule workouts before NBA teams start training camp on September 24.
Commenting on the chances of Bynum making a successful comeback, Lakers Nation wrote that the former Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers center, who was picked 10th overall straight out of high school in the 2005 NBA Draft, chose an odd time to plan a return to the league. The publication wrote that Bynum might have difficulty finding a team to play for, as more coaches and executives are favoring smaller, faster lineups, as well as more modern centers that are capable of shooting from outside, passing, and doing other things seven-footers like Bynum weren’t normally expected to do in previous eras.
Former Lakers two-time champion and All-Star Andrew Bynum has hired representation in attempts of NBA comeback at age of 30 and scheduling team workouts before training camps.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 9, 2018
NBA All-Star and 2x champ Andrew Bynum intends to make an NBA comeback and will schedule workouts, per @ShamsCharania
Bynum, 30, last played in 2014 for the Pacers. pic.twitter.com/6eEMoTDYBL
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 9, 2018
Even though the Los Angeles Lakers have been perceived as a team in dire need of a center, Lakers Nation added that there have been no reports that the team is interested in bringing back one of their former stars. It was noted, however, that the Lakers have one free roster spot after their buyout of forward Luol Deng’s contract.
As seen on his Basketball-Reference player page, Andrew Bynum was more of a traditional center in his eight seasons in the NBA, averaging 11.5 points and 7.7 rebounds, 1.2 assists, and 1.6 blocks per game and attempting a total of just nine three-point shots. After playing in his only All-Star Game and making the All-NBA Second Team in 2011-12 for the Lakers, Bynum was sent to the Philadelphia 76ers in the trade that sent Dwight Howard to Los Angeles but did not see action for the Sixers due to injuries to both knees. He then played for the Cavaliers and Indiana Pacers in the 2013-14 season, averaging just 8.7 points and 5.6 rebounds in 26 games and quietly ending his NBA career after that season.