Lakers: Bynum might play in D-League

first_img Under league rules, the Lakers could send their first- or second-year players to the D-League. The Lakers retain rights to those players, who would be paid full NBA salaries, and could assign them to the league up to three times a season. The D-League’s 48-game regular season begins Nov. 19 and ends April 9. The eight-team league is spread across the Southeast and Southwest from Albuquerque, N.M., to Roanoke, Va. “You don’t have a choice,” Bynum said about the D-League, “but if that’s what it’s going to take to get me better, then, yeah, I’d be open to going down there.” Jackson said he has seen progress in Bynum, the youngest player drafted in NBA history, since his early workouts and summer league games. “I think he’s become more aggressive,” Jackson said. “He can hold the post a little better. His body’s changed in the period of four months that I’ve gotten to know him. He’s learning to play hard, that’s one of the hardest things for a young man like him.” The Lakers also would have to consider what Bynum would get playing in a system other than the triangle offense in the D-League. He also was an instant curiosity among fans, with hundreds turned away before his summer-league debut. Also: Lamar Odom took part in some contact drills, with his left shoulder emerging unscathed. Jackson, meanwhile, suggested Odom could be the player he turns to when one of the Lakers’ starting big men gets into foul trouble. “I anticipate playing him sometimes at center and going really small like a Dallas-type team at some level,” Jackson added. Ross Siler, (818) 713-3610 ross.siler@dailynews.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! HONOLULU – Two days of training camp is too soon to tell, but the Lakers appear increasingly open to having 17-year-old center Andrew Bynum, their first-round draft pick, play some in the NBA Development League this season. The NBA’s new collective bargaining agreement created a minor-league system for the first time with the D-League. The Lakers, along with Dallas, Golden State and Portland, are affiliated with the Fort Worth (Texas) Flyers, whose coach, Sam Vincent, is expected to attend camp. center_img It could prove a difficult decision for the Lakers, who would have to decide whether Bynum is better served sitting on an NBA bench or playing in the D-League. The critical factor could be Bynum’s lack of experience; he played only 33 games in all of high school. “I have no idea whether he’s going to be able to play in (an NBA) game or not,” Lakers coach Phil Jackson said Wednesday. “We’ll figure that out during the exhibition season. “We anticipate that with the developmental league; there’s a great opportunity for him to learn the game down there, too. Whether we send him there or not is not a given. But it’s always an opportunity.” Asked where Bynum fit on the rookie playing-time spectrum, from Dwight Howard to Darko Milicic, special assistant Kareem Abdul-Jabbar added, “I’m glad I don’t have to make that decision, but we have the developmental league and he’ll be able to go down and get some game experience.” Bynum is experiencing the overload of training camp, coping with twice daily practices and learning his place in the offense. His mother is flying in later this week and he already is getting the rookie treatment, carrying teammates’ bags and giving up his seat when someone else wants to sit down. last_img

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