By TOM WITHERS
2013-12-29 03:42 AM
CLEVELAND (AP) -- The Cleveland Cavaliers suspended enigmatic center Andrew Bynum indefinitely on Saturday for "conduct detrimental to the team" and banned him from all team-related activities.
Bynum, who signed a two-year, $24 million contract in July, did not travel with the team to Boston for Saturday's NBA game and it's likely that he has played his final game for Cleveland.
The Cavaliers will try to trade Bynum.
His suspension isn't a major shock considering he has not performed at a consistent level and has appeared uninterested while on the floor. Worried about his attitude affecting team chemistry, the Cavaliers opted to remove him before things got worse.
Guard Jarrett Jack said Bynum wasn't disruptive and that his quietness may have been misinterpreted.
This season, the 7-foot (2.13-meter) Bynum, who did not play a single second last season for Philadelphia because of knee injuries, talked openly about retirement and said his medical issues have been a challenge to overcome.
"It's a terrible situation internally with our team," All-Star guard Kyrie Irving said. "It's something we have to get over."
Cavaliers coach Mike Brown and Bynum were together in Los Angeles and their relationship was one of the reasons the Cavaliers risked signing Bynum. Brown was asked if Bynum's days with the Cavs were over.
"He's on an indefinite suspension and I'm not trying to be funny, but you know what indefinite means," Brown said. "We've got 14 guys in that locker room who are very focused and determined and ready to take on any challenge that's in front of them. They're great guys, they're focused guys and they know how to play the game the right way and that's what I'm focused on, just helping those guys win."
There were times Bynum showed flashes of being a dominant post player again. But recently he has lacked energy or enthusiasm, and on Monday he missed all 11 field-goal attempts and didn't score in 22 minutes against Detroit. On Thursday, Bynum struggled to guard Atlanta's Al Horford and was taken out in the third quarter. Bynum didn't return despite Horford suffering a torn chest muscle in the Hawks' double-overtime win.
The Cavaliers guaranteed Bynum only $6 million on his deal, and they can clear more salary cap space if he is traded or released by Jan. 7. There could be interest in Bynum by a team willing to accept that he's not the same player who routinely recorded double-digit points and rebounds for the Los Angeles Lakers.
The 26-year-old Bynum spent seven seasons with the Lakers, who selected him with the 10th overall pick in the 2005 draft.
Bynum is averaging 8.6 points and 5.3 rebounds in 24 games -- 19 starts this season.
AP freelancer Ken Powtak in Boston contributed.