Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Chris Sheridan says if Thunder added Toronto's first-round draft pick it would make sense for both sides.
Will Bynum, the Detroit Pistons' electric point guard, has been an obvious candidate in trade rumors for a while now. He is effective, cheap and on an expiring deal.
The latest Bynum rumor, or more accurately suggestion, is a deal between the Detroit Pistons and Oklahoma City Thunder, who could use some scoring punch and ball handling off the bench.
Longtime NBA writer Chris Sheridan outlined why the deal would make sense for the two teams.
Why it Makes Sense for Detroit: They get a pick that likely will be in the mid-lottery (Raptors' pick is protected 1-3), replacing the pick they sent to the Bobcats in the Corey Maggette-Ben Gordon trade. And they get a return on Bynum, who is on an expiring contract. If Toronto hits the lottery and keeps its pick, the Pistons would get it in 2014 - when the protection drops to top 2. (The pick becomes unprotected in 2018.)
Why it Makes Sense for Oklahoma City: They get a veteran, savvy player who can replace what left with James Harden left (ballhandling capability). They also get someone who can cut down on the high number of turnovers from Russell Westbrook, who can play off the ball if Bynum (who scores more than 40 percent of his points in fourth quarters) is running the point. They ditch Maynor, who is in Scott Brooks' doghouse. They don't have to rely on untested Reggie Jackson as their fail-safe, which could be a season-killer.
Will it happen? Scott Presti loves having lottery picks, but he also knows when to cash in a valuable trade chip. Luke Ridnour might be his fallback.
Sheridan has hit this well before but I do find it somewhat plausible. Bynum has his faults but he is a natural scorer and doesn't shy away from the pressure situations that would come with a playoff run. Plus, he is the perfect trade candidate for many playoff-bound teams. Check out this stat:
What that means is if you lack scoring with your second unit, trade for Bynum. He wouldn't need much time to develop chemistry or integrate himself in the playbook. You just give him the ball and he will look to score.
That would be a boon to OKC, who other than Miami has the weakest bench of any real title contender. They are especially lacking at point guard position where the Thunder have relied on Reggie Jackson and Maynor to spell Russell Westbrook.
But in 870 minutes the duo have combined to score just 266 points. In 810 minutes, Bynum has scored 407 points. He also has more assists than the two young Thunder combined.
As for how this would work out for the Pistons, it would obviously be a home run. Bynum is unlikely to return to the team next season and if you can trade him for a first-rounder it is all the better. While Rudy Gay is in the fold in Toronto now, I'd be skeptical that the Raptors would make the playoffs next season. That would likely give Detroit a decently high lottery pick, which would make the one they surrendered to Charlotte easier to stomach.
While I'm not sure Maynor is going to be a good player, there is no question the Pistons need to add some young talent at the point guard position.