Friday , Oct , 17 , 2008 C.Y. Ellis

What Is Andrew Bynum Really Worth to the Lakers?

What Is Andrew Bynum Really Worth to the Lakers?Despite the promising year ahead, fans of the Lakers have to be feeling a little uncomfortable right now.  Last season saw the purple-and-gold come within inches of their umpteenth championship, and the general opinion in California was that a healthy Andrew Bynum would have pushed them over the top.

Well, the young fella is set to hit the ground running on opening night and, excepting a little Phil-Lamar beef, things seem settled in Lakerland.  All good, right?  Apparently not.

The Lakers have until Oct. 31 to sign Bynum to a five-year contract extension, though discussions with the team have been "few and not significant," according to Bynum’s agent, David Lee.

I just don’t get it," Lee said. "I do not understand certain things that happen. Andrew has taken everything the Lakers have thrown at him, including criticism. He doesn’t do anything to respond other than go on the court. He just goes on with his business."

Forgive me for skipping a few steps, but it’s fairly obvious what’s going on here.  Andrew Bynum, prodded by his agent, has it in mind that he’s in line for a big payday.  The biggest, in fact.  Mitch Kupchak and pals, meanwhile, are unlikely to agree that the pubescent pivot is worth a maximum contract.  While there may not have been much dialogue between the two parties as yet, it’s likely both know what the other is thinking.

So, who’s going to budge first?  It’s understood that the Lakers want to see Bynum play a couple of games before they cut the cheque, so a lot will be dependent on how he handles the preaseason.  Let’s assume the big fella picks up where he left off and puts up big numbers over his first few games.  Can he possibly do enough to convince the front office that he’s worth a max-money deal?

Let us know how much you think Andrew Bynum is worth in the comment box below.  Oh, and feel free to have at one another verbally.  We always enjoy a good war of words.