Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Will Bynum and Jason Maxiell are exceeding expectations in their contract years. But will they finish the season with the Pistons on the way to their next payday?
Will Bynum is oblivious to rumors. Case in point, from MLive's David Mayo:
"Deadline for what?" Bynum said when asked about the trade deadline. "My future's here, man. My future's here in Detroit. You ain't been watching? I ain't been thinking about it. Nothing to think about. Nothing to think about."
Bynum's in the midst of his finest season in years -- he's averaging a career-high 7.1 assists per 36 minutes, and his 16.4 PER is his best since 2009. You could do a lot worse than Bynum as a change of pace off the bench, which a lot of contenders may be thinking. Just don't tell Bynum:
"I could care less about trade deadline, free agency," Bynum said. "Just take one game at a time, one day at a time, try to get better every day, things will fall into place. I'm a good person, I do things the right way. I ain't got nothing to worry about."
One game at a time, man. Rise and grind. It is what it is. Don't get too high, don't get too low. Will Bynum's cliche game is tight, son.
As for Jason Maxiell, he admits to thinking about the deadline, even if he admits it's largely a fruitless endeavor. Again, from Mayo:
The others aren't sure where they're going, and Maxiell said he sometimes ponders the balance between the possibility of a pre-deadline trade against the chance to exercise negotiating freedom if he becomes a free agent this summer, as expected.
"But once again, it's just a business," he said. "I'm comfortable here, feeling good as an older young vet, I guess you could say, and I'm gonna try to keep the young guys straight."
Want to feel old? Maxiell turns 30 years old next month -- the descriptor "older young vet" won't apply much longer. In any case, Maxiell has regressed from early in his career in some respects, but he remains a solid shot-blocking, rebounding reserve. And for a paltry $5 million, he'll draw interest.
Whether the Pistons bite, though, is the question. The Pistons have made up some ground in recent weeks in the hunt for the final playoff spot, but that's largely the result of a series of a comfortable schedule. We'll learn a lot about the future of this team over the next week, when they play four of five on the road.