CLEVELAND — As the Cavaliers await word from Andrew Bynum, two other teams have joined the chase for the free agent center.
Bynum, who didn’t play a single second for Philadelphia last season because of knee injuries, is considering a two-year offer from the Cavs, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on Tuesday.
Cleveland made the offer, which includes a team option in the second year, during his visit to the Cavs’ facility Monday. Bynum did not work out but the team examined him thoroughly. The person with knowledge of the negotiations spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the talks. Yahoo! Sports first reported Cleveland’s offer and said it was worth $24 million.
While mulling Cleveland’s deal, Bynum visited the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday and plans to meet Wednesday with the Dallas Mavericks, his agent, David Lee, told the AP on Tuesday night.
Lee said there has been no decision made on Cleveland’s deal. He would not say if the Hawks made Bynum an offer. Bynum lives in Atlanta and could be convinced to stay home.
The 25-year-old Bynum had arthroscopic surgery on both knees in March, but the Cavs apparently are confident he will return to the form that made him one of the NBA’s best centers and a two-time All-Star.
They’re also counting on him thriving under Cleveland coach Mike Brown, who has returned to the Cavs after being fired three years ago. Brown and Bynum spent one season together with the Los Angeles Lakers and the 7-footer had his best year, averaging 18.7 points and 11.8 rebounds. Over the past four seasons, Bynum has averaged 14.7 points and 9.5 rebounds.
Cleveland would like to get an answer from Bynum as soon as possible, but the team did not give him any deadline. The NBA’s free-agency moratorium period ends Wednesday.
The Cavs have already landed forward Earl Clark and guard Jarrett Jack in free agency and are looking to move up quickly. They would immediately vault into contention in the Eastern Conference with a healthy Bynum paired with All-Star guard Kyrie Irving and a roster that includes forward Tristan Thompson, guard Dion Waiters and forward Anthony Bennett, the No. 1 overall pick in last month’s draft.
Lee has said Bynum will be ready to play by the start of training camp.
The Sixers acquired Bynum last summer from the Lakers as part of a four-team trade. But Bynum, who made $16.9 million despite not playing last season, never got healthy enough to get on the floor and the Sixers crumbled.
League fines Rockets
NEW YORK — The Houston Rockets talked too much, too soon about Dwight Howard.
A league spokesman confirmed the team and its personnel were fined $150,000 by the NBA for comments made about the All-Star center during the moratorium period.
Howard committed to leave the Los Angeles Lakers and join the Rockets on Friday, and Rockets general manager Daryl Morey gave an interview later that night with Comcast SportsNet Houston in which he talked about the recruitment and landing of him. Coach Kevin McHale also discussed Howard over the weekend at the Orlando Summer League.
Though free agency opened July 1, deals can’t become official until Wednesday, after the 2013-14 salary cap is set.
Warriors closing in on pair
OAKLAND, Calif. — The Golden State Warriors have reached agreements with guard Toney Douglas and center Jermaine O’Neal on free agent deals, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because teams can’t confirm moves until Wednesday. Both are believed to be one-year contracts.
Douglas played for the Houston Rockets and Sacramento Kings last season, averaging 7.5 points and 2.1 assists in 18.1 minutes per game. The 27-year-old gives Golden State some added backcourt depth to help alleviate the loss of Jarrett Jack, who signed a four-year, $25 million deal with Cleveland.
The Warriors are hoping the 34-year-old O’Neal can be a reliable backup to Andrew Bogut while Festus Ezeli recovers from right knee surgery.
Bucks trade Mbah a Moute
The Milwaukee Bucks traded forward Luc Mbah a Moute to the Sacramento Kings in exchange for a 2016 second-round draft pick, according to a source with knowledge of the deal.
The sourcesaid Milwaukee retains the right to swap the pick for a 2018 selection.
The 6-foot-8, 230-pound forward has emerged as a standout defender since he was drafted 37th overall out of UCLA by the Bucks in 2008. He has averaged 6.9 points and 5.3 rebounds in 25.1 minutes per game in his career.