The Lakers had a pretty easy decision to make before June 30 and the team will pick up the option on Andrew Bynum for next season.  GM Mitch Kupchak confirmed the news with Mike Bresnahan of the LA Times.

“He’s the starting center on the West All-Star team. Why wouldn’t we do everything we could to keep him here?” said Kupchak. “We’re ecstatic to have him on the team.”

The team option will pay Bynum $16.1 million next season.

That is money well spent too with the 24 year-old center having the best year of his career, averaging 18.1 points and 12.9 rebounds.  He has really come to life in March, putting up 24 points and 13.1 rebounds in ten games while shooting a ridiculous 65.7% from the field.

Maybe the best number for Bynum for this season is playing in all 41 games.  He’s only been able to play an entire season once during his six season as he has battled with knee injuries.

Plus, his teammates see the difference with Bynum and trusting him with more touches and in bigger moments of close games.  He’s been a beast in the paint and having his way with teams.

Bynum will become a free agent following next season if the two sides don’t work out a new deal.  That shouldn’t be difficult as long as he stays healthy and he will easily earn a max contract.