San Antonio Spurs Free Agency

San Antonio Spurs: Should Andrew Bynum join training camp?

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 17: Andrew Bynum #17 of the Los Angeles Lakers drives on Tiago Splitter #22 of the San Antonio Spurs during the game at Staples Center on April 17, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 17: Andrew Bynum #17 of the Los Angeles Lakers drives on Tiago Splitter #22 of the San Antonio Spurs during the game at Staples Center on April 17, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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Former Lakers center Andrew Bynum is working on an NBA return, should the San Antonio Spurs pick him up for training camp?

For a stretch between 2008 and 2012, center Andrew Bynum was in serious consideration as one of the top big men in the NBA. Competing alongside legend Kobe Bryant and current Spur Pau Gasol, Bynum is a two-time champion and made the All-NBA Second Team in 2012.

Sources: Former Los Angeles Lakers champion center Andrew Bynum worked out in the Lakers' facility this week as he pursues NBA comeback. Not an official Lakers workout, but gave Bynum opportunity for open gym runs.

— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 12, 2018

Injuries plagued Bynum’s entire nine-year career and sent him into an early retirement in 2014. After some time away from the game, the 30-year-old is working to return to the hardwood for the 2018-19 season.

San Antonio’s excellent medical staff and track record with injury-prone players makes them an ideal fit for Bynum. By garnishing his minutes and pacing his introduction to the lineup, San Antonio could assure that Bynum is worthy and ready to make an impact on his new team.

Whether or not he can make the final roster is to be determined but bringing Bynum to San Antonio for training camp would allow head coach Gregg Popovich to judge his ability and NBA-readiness. There’d be no need to guarantee a contract until after the team has evaluated his game, as he may not be ready for NBA action.

The center position is currently occupied by Gasol and newcomer Jakob Poetl, who San Antonio acquired as part of the Kawhi Leonard-DeMar DeRozan trade with Toronto. At seven-feet-tall, Poetl is an athletic specimen whose rim protection and rebounding project to become incredibly useful as he develops.

Whenever a former player decides to work toward an NBA comeback, teams look at it as a low-risk, high-reward situation. If Bynum were to pan out and return to form, he’d be a top-tier center at a low cost. If things didn’t work out, he could easily be cut or replaced from the roster.

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San Antonio may need a safety net at the center position to backup Gasol and Poetl. If Bynum proves himself to be NBA-ready, he could be a valuable piece for any team fighting for a playoff spot this year.

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