Modeled after ESPN’s 5-on-5, Patrick and I will answer three questions about a Pistons-related topic. We’re going to use 3-on-3s to assess the tradability of each Piston leading up to the March 15 trade deadline.
For each 3-on-3, we’ll be joined by a guest contributor. Today, that’s Kurt Helin of NBC Sports’ ProBasketballTalk, .
Please add your responses in the comment.
1. How motivated are the Pistons to trade Will Bynum?
Dan Feldman: Bynum is due $3.25 million next season, hardly an egregious amount, but it’s a lot for a non-rotation player. The Pistons must evaluate whether Bynum – currently stuck behind Brandon Knight, Rodney Stuckey and Walker Russell at point guard – has a decent chance of cracking the rotation before the 2013 trade deadline. If not, they should shop him heavily now.
Patrick Hayes: Pretty motivated. Bynum is having a bad season, as he’s fallen out of the rotation and been injured, but his contract isn’t bad and he’s a productive bench player when healthy. The problem for the Pistons is his skillset isn’t much different than starting guards Brandon Knight’s and Rodney Stuckey’s. All three guys are much more comfortable, at this point, getting their own offense than running an offense and setting up others. Plus, Bynum’s size makes him a defensive liability. The Pistons could really use a backup point who brings a different set of skills to the table, like Walker Russell if Russell was a better shooter or defender.
Kurt Helin: You get the impression that moving Bynum is not as important to Detroit as moving some other pieces – which is almost exactly how Lawrence Frank feels about playing Bynum. Still, there are teams out there that need point guards, Bynum has shown flashes of good play in the past, and Detroit doesn’t want to pay him $3.2 million next year to ride the pine. If he’s not moved at the deadline, he will be next summer.
2. How motivated are other teams to trade for Will Bynum?
Dan Feldman: The Heat apparently like Bynum, and plenty of teams could use a backup point guard. The NBA’s new Collective Bargaining Agreement and its more punitive luxury tax might actually increase interest in Bynum. Instead of pursuing better and more expensive backup point guards, teams might settle for the more cost-effective Bynum.
Patrick Hayes: I’d guess there’s a market for him. Teams in need of point guard help are probably thinking about guys like Jose Calderon, Ramon Sessions, Raymond Felton or Luke Ridnour. But the availability of those guys is unknown, and the price to get one of them would undoubtedly be higher than it would to get Bynum. If he’s healthy, he could be a nice consolation prize for somebody.
Kurt Helin: He’s kind of everyone’s Plan C. As an easy example of a team that needs a point guard and has been mentioned in the Bynum “sweepstakes” (and we use that term very loosely) let’s talk Lakers. Their Plan A is to land Dwight Howard or some other superstar that vaults them back into contender status. When that fails, Plan B is to get a more trusted point guard like Ramon Sessions. If that fails, they go to Plan C, and Bynum is in that group. He’s affordable and sucks less than other guys out there, but he’s nobody’s dream scenario.
3. How likely are the Pistons to trade Will Bynum?
Dan Feldman: Bynum is probably one of the Pistons most likely to be traded. Detroit has some grossly overpaid players and some bad players – and yes, those groups overlap – but Bynum is one of the few who fits neither category. He also doesn’t appear to have a role on this team. Why not trade him if the Pistons can get even minimal returns?
Patrick Hayes: He’s a maybe. Bynum has worked hard in Detroit and has always been in and out of the rotation simply because the Pistons have always had either young players with more upside (Knight, Stuckey) or expensive guys (Ben Gordon, Richard Hamilton) getting the bulk of the minutes at both guard spots. If the Pistons could get a second round pick or a young player with some marginal upside on a cheap contract for Bynum, they’d probably consider it.
Kurt Helin: They want to move him, the only question is if it happens at the deadline or this summer. It’s hard to make a deal at this deadline – teams realize with the condensed schedule it will be hard to work in new players at practices and besides, GMs are off scouting college tournaments right now, not sitting at their desks like most deadlines. Damn lockout. If he gets moved at the deadline, it will be right up against it. With Bynum it’s a matter of when, not if, but it just may not be as fast as the Pistons hope.