Mike Brown: Andrew Bynum “most likely” to start at center for Cavs
The Cleveland Cavaliers’ current head coach Mike Brown previously coached Bynum to his best season as a pro, when the big man was an All-Star and started 60 for the Los Angeles Lakers during the lockout shortened 2011-12 season. Bynum averaged 18.7 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 1.9 blocked shots while earning a career-high 35.2 minutes per game, during that season.
But after the landing in Philadelphia as part of the four-team Dwight Howard trade last August, Bynum did not appear in a single game for the Sixers and ended up requiring offseason arthroscopic surgery on both knees in March.
However, Mike Brown still sees that All-Star potential in Bynum and rather than bringing the oft-injured center off the bench to ease him into the rotation, Brown intends to insert him right into the starting lineup. Although Brown adds that won’t happen unless Bynum comes into training camp completely healthy and in playing shape.
"He's most likely going to start for us because he's obviously an All-Star caliber player,” Brown said of Bynum. "But we need to see where his health is as we progress toward training camp, into training camp, preseason and into the regular season.”
“If everything fits right, if he's completely healthy, no doubt about it, he's our starter at center."
Both sides have a lot riding on Bynum’s stay in Cleveland working out, with $6 million guaranteed of his $24 million deal, over the next two years.
If Bynum manages to stay healthy and starts at center, the Cavaliers will have quite a formidable front court, with Anderson Varejao, Tyler Zeller, Tristan Thompson and Earl Clark in the rotation. However, Mike Brown could still face the decision about who to start at power forward. Tristan Thompson averaged 31.3 minutes per contest while starting 82 games at the spot for the Cavaliers last season. But Brown could slide starting center Anderson Varejao down to the No.4 spot, while bringing Thompson off the bench.
"[Anderson Varejao] can start at the 4, he can start at the 5. I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet with Anderson,” said Brown. “You can go into so many hypotheticals ... it's too early to try to peg who's starting where and all that other stuff.”
“But I'm excited about all our bigs, including Tyler [Zeller]. I thought Tyler had a productive week, too."