The deal is worth up to $24 million, sources said, and the Cavs hold a team option for the second year. Only $6 million of the contract is guaranteed, according to sources.
Bynum, who missed the entire 2012-13 season with the Philadelphia 76ers because of a knee injury, will have to reach a variety of health- and games-related benchmarks to collect the full $12 million in the first year of the deal, sources said.
Sources said the Cavaliers, however, see the $6 million guarantee as a low-risk move given how rarely a former All-Star center such as Bynum becomes available on the open market — and how rarely they are available to lottery teams such as Cleveland.
If Bynum exceeds all expectations and plays well, the Cavs also can pick up the second-year option and have another attractive piece alongside star guard Kyrie Irving for their long-planned attempt to bring LeBron James back to Cleveland in 2014 free agency.
Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert was a force in the pursuit of Bynum and was willing to gamble $6 million that the 25-year-old will have a bounce-back season in 2013-14, league sources told ESPN.
Neither Atlanta nor Dallas, according to sources close to the talks, made Bynum a formal offer after their respective sitdowns with him.
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