Andrew Bynum could have as many as eight teams vying for his services when he clears waivers on Thursday. Per a report by ESPN.com's Chris Broussard, the Atlanta Hawks are "unlikely" to be one of them.
Atlanta was one of the teams that talked with Bynum during the summer before he elected to sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The marriage in Cleveland didn't last long as he was suspended for conduct detrimental by the Cavs and later traded to the Bulls for Luol Deng. Chicago was looking for salary cap relief in the Deng deal so they immediately waived Bynum.
On paper the Atlanta Hawks look like a logical fit for Bynum as Rob Mahoney points out at The Point Forward in his rundown of possible Bynum suitors. Mahoney points out that Atlanta pursued Bynum during the offseason and the team's need for a center now is greater than it was over the summer due to the injury to Al Horford. He also points out that the Hawks have an open roster spot and the room exception that could be used to bring in Bynum.
The money is key because as ProBasketball Talk's Kurt Helin points out that the financials have always been a motivating factor with Bynum.
He'll want more than just a minimum salary for the rest of this year, or he'll want additional years, but how much teams really will give him based on his history and his knees remain to be seen. If he wants to play on a contender he will have to play for the minimum, but money has always motivated Bynum more than basketball factors and he could go elsewhere for more.
Broussard also pointed out in his article that Bynum would like to play for a contender but would consider his fit with other teams. Of course he will also consider the contract offer.
So it seems like a great fit on paper except that Bynum hasn't been a great fit anywhere dating back to his time in Los Angeles. His health history alone suggests he is a 15-20 minute a night player which can still be a big factor. However, the biggest concern is his effect on the rest of the team and in the lockerroom.
Bynum was back on the floor playing in Cleveland. With the way his contract was shaped he had every incentive to do the right things there yet he still found a way to get suspended and ultimately cost himself about $6 million. There are countless questions about his desire to play the game and that is not exactly refreshing given the health of his knees.
Still, he is a legitimate center and he very well is capable of helping a lot of teams. That is why he will have interest. Whether any of that interest comes from the Atlanta Hawks remains to be seen.