In a move that should come as a surprise to few, the Los Angeles Lakers have officially picked up the final year option on Andrew Bynum’s contract for next season, as reported by the LA Times. Bynum will be paid $16.1 million for 2012-2013.
After struggling with injuries for the first six seasons of his career, Bynum emerged as an all-star in 2011-2012, averaging career highs in points per game (18.7) rebounds (11.8) while starting 60 games (he missed 4 games due to suspension to start the season). Bynum also had one of the most impressive overall games of the season when he pulled down 30 rebounds against the Spurs April 11th.
Bynum at times flashed moments of immaturity and lack of effort, but the Lakers are banking those issues will be dispelled going forward for the 24-year old. Unless the Lakers and Bynum can come to an extension the 7-footer will be an unrestricted free agent next summer.