Central Notes: Bynum, Ilyasova, Fredette

Chronic knee injuries have taken a permanent toll on Andrew Bynum, who will have to play through pain for the rest of his career. The Pacers big man says he has the drive to push through the injuries and contribute at a high level again, despite a lost season with the Sixers and an ugly release from the Cavs this year, he tells Candace Buckner of The Indy Star. “My motivation is because I want a championship. I want to play.” Here’s more from the Central Division:

  • Bynum admits to Buckner that he launched a half court shot and mocked an assistant coach in Cleveland out of frustration, which was rumored as the impetus behind the Cavs choice to suspend and then release him.
  • Bynum found Cavs coach Mike Brown‘s system too complex, and the winning attitudes in Cleveland lacking. Alternately, Bynum is impressed with the Pacers culture. “It’s better, it’s more structured. You’re here, they do what they need to do with you and then you’re out. It’s not like something is going on forever. Everything has a plan and you try to stick to it and accomplish it, that’s always good.”
  • Ersan Ilyasova tells Charles F. Gardner of Milwauke Journal Sentinel that he’s hoping the latest reset for the Bucks will be the last for a while. “Even last year being in the playoffs and we were hoping we were going to build on it. I came back to Milwaukee and it was like a new team. It’s really frustrating but at some point we have to find stability,” says Ilyasova. “We have a great organization. We have good fans, but we just have to be consistent with what we do. At some point I’m hoping we find the right pieces. I feel really comfortable being with the Milwaukee Bucks. We’ve had a lot of change, but I hope we find the right players.” Ilyasova requested a trade earlier in the year, but while Milwaukee shipped out guards Gary Neal and Luke Ridnour, they held on to the 26-year-old power forward they signed to a five-year, $40MM contract two offseasons ago.
  • Joel Brigham of Basketball Insiders thinks the Jimmer Fredette signing by the Bulls will be good for both the team and player. Chicago needs outside shooting, which Fredette can provide, and Fredette needs playing time to rebuild his value before becoming a free agent this offseason.

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