So the insider Eastern Conference rankings have just been posted by ESPN and while there aren't too many surprises, I was actually shocked to see that Chad Ford apparently does not know who Will Bynum is. Or rather, that is my only conclusion based on his write up of the Pistons off-season:
11. Detroit Pistons
Key subtractions: Kwame Brown
The Pistons were pretty quiet this summer. After winning just 27 games last season and having virtually no front line to speak of, some were expecting GM Joe Dumars to do a major overhaul in Detroit. But with the team up for sale, the Pistons didn't move the needle much.
Instead, Dumars is counting on the team to bounce back from the most injury-filled season the Pistons have faced in a decade --Richard Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince and Ben Gordon missed 88 games combined. The team never really got a chance to click and the result was the worst team Pistons fans have seen in a decade.
Dumars isn't just counting on good health. He drafted big man Greg Monroe as the Pistons' potential center of the future. Monroe won't impress out of the gate, but he has a high basketball IQ and he's super skilled.
The Pistons are also hoping that McGrady has some magic left in his game. Combine that with a pretty good trade chip -- Prince's expiring contract -- and the Pistons have a chance to win 10 to 15 more games than they did last season. But after a decade of being spoiled with championship-caliber teams, this year's version of the Pistons, even if they improve, could be a letdown.
Meanwhile, he lists Raymond Felton as a key signing for New York. So Felton for 3 years and $25M is key to New York, but Bynum on a 3 year $10.5M contract is not to Detroit? Ignoring the fact that most of his stats compare nicely to what Felton did last year (with the exception of 3PT% which Bynum has addressed this off-season), Bynum should be included if only because he's likely to contribute more to the team than the already mentioned Tracy McGrady.
Bynum, despite putting up comparable numbers to the 3 PGs in the link above (with the exception of TS% and eFG%, both of which were impacted by Bynum's abysmal 3PT% and his ankle injuries), is on the cheapest contract of any of them while providing just as much scoring punch as any of them.
I know I'm preaching to the choir when it comes to Bill Bynum, but seriously ESPN, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?