Los Angeles Lakers’ Andrew Bynum: Is He Trade Bait or Great?

Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum's size, strength, footwork, and natural basketball instincts give him all the tools needed to be a dominant center in the NBA, but his inability to stay healthy may have made him expendable going forward.

Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak would love nothing more than to see Bynum become the player his talent suggests he could be, but winning as many championships as possible takes precedent over Bynum's potential.

It's a shame, too, because good centers are a precious commodity in the NBA, and Bynum's value was shown in the 2010 NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics.

Bynum only averaged 8.6 points per game and 6.9 rebounds, but his presence brought an element of toughness in the post which was missing from the Lakers in 2008. He refused to be pushed around in the manner Pau Gasol was often victim to.

More importantly, Bynum and Gasol give the Lakers the NBA's most talented, versatile, and long frontcourt duo. Their prowess on offense and defense made them the strength of the Lakers' team.

Unfortunately, Bynum's fourth knee injury in as many seasons supersedes the fact he is only 23 years old because it seems more and more likely that the young center may be injury prone.

Youth, talent, and potential are great, but knee injuries consistently rob a player of the explosiveness and lateral movement that are major factors of their game.

Bynum's youth does make his recovery easier than it would with an older player, but due to the regularity of the issue, you have to wonder if he is capable of surviving a whole season.

Bynum did exhibit mental toughness when he managed to play through the pain of his partially torn meniscus in the postseason, but that injury may have contributed to the recent trade rumors floating around the air.

There are whispers that the Lakers' brass has grown impatient with Bynum, and Chris Bosh...

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