Lakers, Andrew Bynum agree to four-year deal
Sources say the center's contract extension is worth about $58 million.
By Mike Bresnahan
8:59 AM PDT, October 30, 2008
The Lakers and Andrew Bynum have agreed in principle on a four-year contract extension worth about $58 million, keeping their center of the future in the fold through the 2012-13 season, according to sources familiar with the negotiations who would not speak publicly.
Bynum, who will make $2.8 million this season, will earn close to $42 million over the first three years of his contract extension. The fourth year will be a team option for about $16 million.
The Lakers declined to comment, although an announcement could come as early as this afternoon.
David Lee, Bynum's agent, spent more than a week in Los Angeles trying to negotiate the extension and returned to his New York home Wednesday afternoon without a deal in place.
Lee, however, will return to Los Angeles today, to formalize the deal, one day before the Friday deadline for contract extensions for players such as Bynum.
Both sides appeared to be far apart earlier in the week, with Bynum's agent asking close to an average of $17 million a year on a five-year deal and the Lakers countering with an average of $11 million a year over five years.
But the sides came to terms on an average salary of $14.5 million a year and four years.
If an agreement had not been reached, Bynum would have become a restricted free agent next July, though the Lakers would have retained the right to match any offer he received from an NBA team next summer.
The Lakers have about $80 million on their payroll this season, and with the Bynum deal the team has already earmarked more than $75 million toward next season's payroll, with most of it going to Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Bynum. Although Bryant could opt out of his contract next July and sign for longer period with the team.
Bynum, who turned 21 on Monday, underwent knee surgery during the off-season, but he turned in a solid effort Wednesday night against the Clippers, compiling 12 points, nine rebounds and three blocked shots in 25 minutes.
He has begun to show signs of the player he was last January, when he averaged 17.3 points and 12.3 rebounds in six games before his season was ended because of a bone bruise in his left knee and brief dislocation of the kneecap.
Edited by MDI, October 30, 2008 - 08:27 AM.