Lakers and Andrew Bynum contract talks moving slowly

Andrew BynumThe Lakers and Andrew Bynum's camp have both known for some time that he'd be eligible for an extension starting this summer.  They've also both know, probably since midway through this season at the latest that he's a max contract player.  Despite knowing these two things, Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times writes that the two sides are nowhere close to a deal on said extension. In fact in there most recent discussion, Bolch writes Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak and Bynum's agent David Lee didn't even talk extension.

"Mitch Kupchak and Andrew Bynum’s agent, David Lee, have spoken recently. As far as Lakers fans are concerned, they might as well have been discussing the weather. Lee said on Wednesday that Kupchak, the Lakers general manager, did not broach a possible contract extension for Bynum, the All-Star center who has one more year left on his contract."

This probably has more to do with Dwight Howard than it does Andrew Bynum.  If the latest reports are accurate, the Lakers are still Dwight sweepstakes so Kupchak doesn't want to go too far down the extension road with Bynum if he's only going to turn around and trade him.  If you're just talking player for player swap, Bynum for Dwight makes the most sense by a mile.  However, if the Magic are looking for straight rebuild, they might want to consider Houston's package of a bajillion draft picks and a bajillion undersized power forwards.

Either way, Bynum has a reputation for being a bit of a mercurial guy.  It's in the Lakers' best interest to do something with Bynum sooner than later.  The last thing they want is a key piece to their franchise like Bynum wondering if he's going to get traded while he's trying to learn to play with a guy like Steve Nash in a system like the Princeton offense that's never played in before.