LOS ANGELES -- If the Lakers are going to keep blasting teams out of Staples Center the way they have the first two nights of the season we'll have to find intrigue wherever we can. In the case of their 117-79 demolition of the Clippers Wednesday the case at hand was whether Andrew Bynum's 12 points, nine rebounds and three blocked shots are worth, say, $14 million per year.
While it looks like the Lakers are off to the races, having also dispatched Portland by 20 points, Bynum's extension talks are coming down to the wire. Players under their rookie scale contract, as Bynum is, have until Friday to sign an extension. Otherwise Bynum can become a restricted free agent next summer. After a period of limited progress, one source familiar with the negotiations said the Lakers and Bynum are close to agreement on a three-year contract extension worth approximately $42 million.
As one NBA executive put it, "The clock brings things into focus."
The proposed contract -- which has a fourth-year team option -- would give Bynum the maximum annual salary but limit the Lakers' long-term liability if Bynum's career does not continue its upward arc. The longest and largest extension Bynum could sign would be five years and approximately $85 million.
Mich does it again!