April 1, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers trainer Gary Vitti talks to Andrew Bynum (17) on the court in the first quarter of the game against the Golden State Warriors at the Staples Center. Bynum suffered an ankle sprain and did not return to the game. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE
The Los Angeles Lakers have officially picked up the team option on their young center, Andrew Bynum, because they are not complete idiots. This is not a surprise. Picking up the option, which brings Bynum back at the relative bargain of $16 million dollars for next season, is literally a no-brainer of a decision. The timing of the decision is in no way significant. It's simply an event that, at some point, must actually occur. One can almost imagine Mitch Kupchak crossing this off his to do list right after "pick up dry cleaning" and "find point guard." Just kidding ... finding a point guard is actually important.
The newsworthy-ness of the headline might be up for debate, but the action itself most certainly isn't. You won't find too many folks more anti-Bynum than this humble scribe, but nobody would think not picking up Bynum's option would be a good idea. Centers with his kind of ability rarely find the open market, for good reason, and to let Bynum do so when he comes in at a bargain to the bottom line would be all kinds of foolishness, no matter how much foolishness of his own is so regularly on display.
It should be noted that the "move" does not guarantee Andrew will be in a Lakers uniform next season. There's still plenty of time for the Lakers to swing a deal that nets them some other superstar in return for Andrew. Picking up his option is simply the process of fulfilling the stipulations of Andrew's contract, but in these headline-starved times, that's what passes for big news for the Los Angeles Lakers.