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Eastern Rumors: Bynum, Irving, LeBron

Andrew Bynum didn’t play in the preseason, but it looks like he might get in the Cavaliers‘ season opener tonight. It would be his first action since the spring of 2012 and his initial step toward convincing the team to fully guarantee his $12.25MM salary. Only $6MM of Bynum’s two-year, $24.79MM contract is guaranteed, so he has much riding on his ability to return to health and productive play this season. Here’s more on the Cavs and a few of their Eastern Conference rivals:

  • Owner Dan Gilbert is confident the Cavs have built an environment conducive to enticing Kyrie Irving to stay with Cleveland for the long term, and Gilbert is encouraged by the youth of the team’s core, observes Marla Ridenour of the Akron Beacon Journal.
  • LeBron James has become close with Erik Spoelstra, who dared to drive the superstar hard, and Spoelstra’s presence in Miami means James is best advised to remain with the Heat, too, as Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports argues. Spoelstra’s new extension runs four years, Wojnarowski reveals.
  • Bulls camp cut Patrick Christopher is headed to the team’s D-League affiliate after turning down offers to play overseas, sources tell Shams Charania of (Twitter link).
  • Knicks GM Steve Mills is OK with the expectations that stem from owner James Dolan’s belief that the team has enough talent to win a title this year, tweets Ian Begley of “You always feel pressure in an environment like this but it’s a good pressure,” Mills said.
  • Mills also responded to a question about Chris Smith‘s place on the Knicks roster by passing along that Dolan wants the team to carry young players it can develop this year, Begley adds (Twitter link).
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