2012-13 Year in Review
Coming off a horrid 2011-12 season, Will Bynum didn't look any better to open the 2012-13 season. The whole team struggled through a tough opening schedule, but Bynum was putting up a clone of his previous season's performance nearly across the board.
When Rodney Stuckey asked to be moved to the bench, Lawrence Frank initially objected as it would remove Bynum from the rotation. As Sean Corp pointed out, this wasn't a bad thing. But it did not make much difference in the team's performance as they continued to lose, going 4-9 with after the change.
But when Stuckey missed a game in December due to back spasms, Bynum used that as his chance to sneak his way back into the rotation. A few games later, a double-overtime game against the Hawks on Jan. 4 where the starters all played flat brought in MFWB to remain a fixture for the season.
He brought the hero ball to put up 31 points in a case where the numbers belie the importance. The Pistons were dead in the water, down 19 heading into the fourth quarter, down 12 with 5 minutes to go, then MFWB decided they'd just go ahead and win. He put up 15 points in the final quarter, as well as the two assists to send the game into overtime. They ultimately lost, but a few important developments occurred: Bynum secured his place in the rotation, Drummond played a season high 36 minutes, and the bench showed the most explosiveness since the Zoo Crew of 2007-08.
Chemistry with Andre Drummond developed early in the season as Will Bynum spotted early what a special player the rookie was. This chemistry was fully on display on Jan. 20 against the Celtics where the two absolutely ran wild. Check out the highlights, it was a fun watch.
This chemistry probably ultimately led to his resigning with the Pistons over the offseason, a generous two year deal of $5.7 million -- all of which looks to be guaranteed money. But that leads us to 2013-14 ...
2013-14 Projected Production
On July 9, the Pistons announced signing Will Bynum. On July 11, they announced signing Chauncey Billups (for less than Bynum), seemingly making few minutes available for Bynum unless Brandon Knight stunk at point guard once again. But after trading Knight to Milwaukee for Brandon Jennings a few weeks later, Bynum seemed entirely out of the equation.
Dumars signed second round pick, Summer League star, and NCAA champion Peyton Siva, who essentially offered everything Bynum brought in his prime. What about Will Bynum?
Bynum earned his way into the Pistons' lineup as a lock-down defender. As his offensive prowess has progressed, that area of his game has declined. These days, he's one of the best at the league in creating his own shot, doesn't turn the ball over a ton, but brings little else to the table. The perimeter playmakers on last year's squad were as likely to dribble the ball off their foot than make an actual play. With Chauncey, Smith, and Jennings, that will change this season.
It's tough to see many minutes for Bynum in the near future. If Billups or Jennings is hampered or the team is fighting for playoff positioning in the spring, perhaps. But hopefully Siva would get an opportunity at those minutes too.
Bynum deserves to be appreciated for his time as a Piston, but unfortunately at this point the best hope for both sides is that a team is willing to trade for him to give him a backup spot.