CLEVELAND: Andrew Bynum is active and expected to play in tonight's season opener against the Brooklyn Nets. He won't start, and he is only expected to play for one stretch. Once he comes out of the game, he will not return.
The Cavs signed him as a free agent over the summer not knowing exactly what they would get out of him. They’ll begin to find out tonight.
They have been cautious in his rehab and were careful not to put any timeline on his return, while privately eyeing the start of the season as a best-case scenario.
Bynum has been playing 5-on-5 in practice for the last couple of weeks and working out extensively with player development coach Vitaly Potapenko with no problems.
Just because Bynum is cleared doesn’t mean the knee problems are behind him. He hasn’t played an entire season since 2006-07, his second year in the league. That’s also the only time he has played more than 65 games.
For now, Bynum gets to take the next step in his recovery: Returning to an NBA game for the first time in 527 days.
"I don't know how often situations like that come around where you've got a 25-year-old veteran who's been in the league eight or nine years and less than two years ago was an All-Star," Cavs owner Dan Gilbert said. "Clearly he has knee challenges, but the doctors at the Cleveland Clinic were of the belief that he had a pretty good chance of coming through it and being able to play a decent amount of minutes. For us and the cap space we had, it was a pretty easy decision."