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Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Andrew Bynum unsure of future

By Dave McMenamin
ESPNLosAngeles.com

OKLAHOMA CITY -- After the most successful season of his seven-year career ended with yet another disappointing second-round playoff exit, Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum doesn't know what the future holds for him.

"I'm not sure," Bynum said after a lackluster, foul-plagued performance in the Lakers' 106-90 loss in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday. "It really doesn't matter to me. I'll play anywhere. I think for the most part I had a pretty decent season and an OK postseason, so we'll see."

Bynum, 24, averaged career highs with 18.7 points and 11.8 rebounds to go along with 1.9 blocks per game during the regular season while being named an All-Star for the first time.

He maintained those averages in the postseason, averaging 17.3 points, 11.7 rebounds and 3.4 blocks coming into Monday, but struggled in Game 5, finishing with just 10 points and 4 rebounds while going 4-for-10 from the field.

"Obviously we need more from him," Lakers coach Mike Brown said after the game. He pointed out that Bynum had zero offensive rebounds in nearly 35 minutes of playing time.

Bynum has an option for the 2012-13 season worth $16.1 million that the Lakers must exercise by June 30 to retain him. Jim Buss, the Lakers' vice president of player personnel, told ESPNLosAngeles.com last month that the team intends to pick up the center's option.

The question remains whether the Lakers will also pursue a long-term contract extension with Bynum in the offseason.

"It's going to depend on what the team wants to do," Bynum said of the extension. "I would definitely want to be a Laker. It's going to be up to the team."

Bynum's agent, David Lee, said the Lakers control when and if those contract extension conversations will occur.

"Their call," Lee said in a text message to ESPNLosAngeles.com last month. "Ball's in their court."