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Andrew Bynum, Lakers Likely To Be Together Through 2013

The Lakers are ready to exercise the team option of Andrew Bynum to ensure he stays in Los Angeles through the 2012-13 regular season.

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Andrew Bynum is enjoying his best season as a Los Angeles Laker. He's played all 41 games he can play in (he served a suspension the first four games of this season) and is enjoying career highs of 18.1 points per game, 57.8% FG percentage, and 12.9 rebounds per game. The Lakers are starting to look very imposing on the inside with Pau Gasol and Bynum, making them an instant title contender once again.

The Lakers sure want to make sure he's around next year. Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times reports the Lakers want to exercise Bynum's team option this offseason.

"He's the starting center on the West All-Star team. Why wouldn't we do everything we could to keep him here?" Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak said. "We're ecstatic to have him on the team."

The Lakers have until June 30 to exercise the $16.1-million option they have for the last year of Bynum's contract. After next season, however, he becomes a free agent unless they negotiate an extension between now and then.

You'd have to guess the Lakers want to wait another year to see how healthy Bynum is playing before fully committing to him. He has not been fully healthy in a season since 2006-07, missing 124 regular season games in the past four years, and this season seems to be the perfect stroke of luck. If he can continue to play at this level, you'd have to imagine a large commitment coming to the seven foot center by the 2013 offseason.

To discuss Bynum and the Lakers, hit up Silver Screen and Roll.