Last night, the Heat agreed to sign a 25-year-old, 7'0" former No. 1 overall pick to a minimum-salary deal. Last month, the Cavaliers signed a 25-year-old, 7'0" center just one season removed from a Second Team All-NBA nod to a contract that's only guaranteed for $6MM. If Greg Oden and Andrew Bynum deliver on their potential, they'll be the steals of the year. Of course, that's a big "if" for a pair of players who just can't seem to stay healthy.
Bynum's knees have allowed him to play 392 games in his NBA career, while Oden has managed just 82. That's why Bynum is getting the larger deal, even though neither of them made an appearance in 2012/13. While there may be more reason for optimism with Bynum on the front end, there could be a greater consequences if he fails for the Cavs, who invested a sizable chunk of their cap space. With Oden, the Heat's worst case scenario is they're stuck paying the minimum salary this year and next (as well as the luxury tax bill on the expenditure, of course). If Bynum works out, the Cavaliers could wind up paying him $24.79MM over this season and next. If Oden returns to form, the Heat would have a force in the middle for just a little more than $1MM this year.
So, the question today is a simple one. Is Cleveland's investment in Bynum better than Miami's minimum-salary flier on Oden, or vice versa? Vote, and debate the issue in the comments.