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Bynum signs with Pacers

The SportsXchange

The Indiana Pacers announced Saturday that they signed free agent center Andrew Bynum to a contract for the rest of the season.

The team did not release terms of the deal.

The Pacers had an open roster spot and $2.1 million left of their midlevel exception, according to ESPN. But they are about $1.8 million below the luxury-tax threshold, and president of basketball operations Larry Bird has said the team does not want to pay the luxury tax.

"We are obviously happy to have him join our team," Bird said in a statement. "He gives us added size, he is a skilled big man and he has championship experience. With the minutes he gets, he should be a valuable addition."

Bynum will join the Pacers sometime next week.

The Pacers (35-10) have the best record in the Eastern Conference. They will use Bynum as a backup to All-Star Roy Hibbert.

"It really wasn't a hard decision, I think it's the right fit for me and, in all honesty, I think we've got the best chance of winning," Bynum said in a statement. "It will be great to back up Roy and I'll do whatever I can to help this team."

Bynum was in talks with five teams, including the Miami Heat, according to ESPN.

Bynum played in 24 games for the Cleveland Cavaliers earlier this season and averaged 8.4 points and 5.3 rebounds before he was traded to the Chicago Bulls for forward Luol Deng on Jan. 7 because of issues that led to a team suspension. The 7-footer was then waived by the Bulls in a salary-saving move, a day before the second half of his $12 million contract became guaranteed.

The 26-year-old Bynum signed with the Cavaliers last summer after sitting out the 2012-13 season with the Philadelphia 76ers because of a knee injury. He never played a game for the 76ers in his one season with the team.

Bynum's best NBA season was his last one with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2012-13 when he averaged 18.7 points and 11.8 rebounds in 60 regular-season games. He played seven seasons with the Lakers and was part of their 2009 and 2010 championships.

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