After whiffing in the Dwight Howard sweepstakes and losing Josh Smith all within the span of a few days, the Atlanta Hawks are looking up — specifically at 7-ft free-agent center Andrew Bynum.
The Hawks have also been linked to Monta Ellis, but the team would only be able to sign one of the stars.
ESPN’s Marc Stein reported earlier today that Atlanta’s primary sights are still set on Ellis as “the future of restricted free-agent Jeff Teague is still uncertain” within the Hawks organization. If the team were to accept trading Teague, they would have enough to offer Ellis somewhere around $10 million per year. Although the Hawks have given a lot of thought to Ellis, they are still heavily interested in Bynum as a plan B of sorts.
Bynum would, in theory, give the Hawks the throwback big man they have coveted for so long. However, he comes with a huge injury risk and his refusal to workout for any teams raises major skepticism in his current status.
Regardless, Bynum may be worth taking a risk on as long as a very strong medical staff is progressively treating his injuries. In the right situation, Bynum could return to the 18.7 ppg, 11.8 rpg and 1.9 bpg he recorded just two seasons ago with the Los Angeles Lakers. Those stats alone are buoying his value this off-season, not to mention that he is still only 25 years old with much room to grow. And given his past injuries, it’s very possible Atlanta could get Bynum for a relatively cheap two-year deal.