Because the Clippers are in need of a backup big man to play behind center DeAndre Jordan and power forward Blake Griffin, they have been linked to Andrew Bynum after the wayward center was suspended indefinitely Saturday by the Cleveland Cavaliers for "conduct detrimental to the team."
The Clippers would have interest in Bynum if he was released by the Cavaliers, according to several NBA executives who were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
But according to one Eastern Conference executive, the Clippers would have competition for Bynum because the Miami Heat also would have interest in the seven-footer.
The Clippers have the NBA-maximum 15-player roster and would have to waive a player if they were to sign Bynum, who is still only 26.
The Cavaliers signed Bynum to a two-year, $24-million deal over the summer. But only $6 million of Bynum's $12.2-million contract for this season is guaranteed if he is waived before Jan. 7.
The Eastern Conference executive said it's possible Bynum will be released by the Cavaliers in early January if they can't trade him so the team is not on the hook for the last $6 million Bynum would be owed.
Bynum has averaged 8.4 points and 5.3 rebounds in 20.0 minutes in the 24 games he has played with the Cavaliers. He had 18 points and six rebounds in 24 minutes when he started for the Cavaliers against the Clippers on Dec. 7.
He won NBA championships with the Lakers in 2009 and 2010, but had to deal with chronic knee problems during his six-plus seasons in Los Angeles. He was traded from the Lakers to 76ers before last season as part of the deal that brought Dwight Howard to the Lakers.
Clippers rookie swingman Reggie Bullock, who is out with a sprained right ankle, has been working out and is making progress.
Coach Doc Rivers said Bullock shot some during the team's shoot-around before Saturday night's game against Utah.
"Yeah, he's getting closer," Rivers said.
J.J. Redick, who is out with a broken right hand and torn ligaments on the right side of his wrist, now has a soft cast on his hand and not the hard cast anymore.
Redick, a right-handed shooter, has not been shooting the ball yet.
"He's close too, would be my guess," Rivers said. "I think it's a couple of weeks, maybe."