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After moving on from Dwight Howard's decision to head to Houston, the Dallas Mavericks have started to seriously pursue Andrew Bynum, sources have said.
The Mavs will proceed with caution due to the knee condition that caused the 7-foot, 285-pound Bynum to miss all of his lone season with the Philadelphia 76ers, the sources said.
The evaluation process of the 25-year-old Bynum's problematic knees will be "exhaustive," according to the sources.
The Mavs consider their medical staff, headlined by Team USA athletic trainer Casey Smith and Dr. T.O. Souryal, to be the best in the league. The medical staff, which played a significant role in getting Tyson Chandler s career back on track after two injury-riddled seasons, could be a recruiting asset in the pursuit of Bynum.
Bynum, 25, is the one potential dominant force who is still available in free agency. He averaged 18.7 points, 11.8 rebounds and 1.9 blocks during his All-Star campaign for the Lakers in 2011-12.
The Mavs have approximately $10.5 million in cap space after agreeing to a four-year, $29 million deal with Jose Calderon.
With no further financial tinkering, they could offer Bynum up to a four-year, $45 million deal. The Mavs could also minimize their risk with Bynum by insisting on language in the contract that would protect the team if the big man's bad knees were to keep him off the court.