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Bynum's Flagrant Foul May Haunt Gamblers Early Next Season

Andrew Bynum's future with the Los Angeles Lakers was in doubt from the time the Lakers started getting blown out in game four of their Western Conference semi-final series against Dallas Sunday. By the end, Bynum had given L.A. even more reason to trade him.

In the closing minutes of a blowout loss to Dallas, Bynum committed a flagrant foul on Mavericks point guard J.J. Barea. The foul was uncalled for to the point that Lakers great Magic Johnson showed his embarrassment after the game. Bynum knew there would be a punishment coming from the league.

On Tuesday, David Stern issued that punishment, a five game suspension to start next season. Now the question will be whether or not Bynum will serve that suspension as a member of the Lakers, or with another team.

Rumors have surfaced at several different times over the past couple of years as to whether or not the Lakers should trade Bynum. As the youngest star on the two-time defending champs, other teams look at Bynum as a player they can build a franchise around. With Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, and Derek Fisher getting older, the Lakers, too, must decide if Bynum is good enough to be the centerpiece moving forward.

Regardless of what Los Angeles decides with Bynum, odds makers will have to adjust their betting odds for the five games the center is suspended. Early in the year in any sport, the gambler has an advantage, with odds makers not knowing where to set the odds, and Bynum's suspension will only complicate that process.

The Lakers were one of the betting favorites this season to win their third straight championship. After surviving a first round series with New Orleans, many fans and analysts predicted L.A. would cruise past Dallas.

The Mavericks had other plans, winning the first two games in L.A., and then finishing off the improbable sweep by winning games three and four at home. Dallas will now meet the winner of the Oklahoma City, Memphis, series in the Western Conference finals.

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