Will Bynum has participated in just one hour of training camp due to a hamstring injury. For a player already considered by fans to be on the bubble to making the team given the sudden glut of point guards above him on the depth chart, that's not a very comfortable position to be in.
Stan Van Gundy spoke Wednesday about Bynum's injury during the Pistons' meet-and-greet with fans at Campus Martius Park in downtown Detroit. From Perry A. Farrell of the Detroit Free Press:
"I mean, our guys have been on the court, not counting the game (vs. Chicago), about 30 hours and Will's been out there for about an hour," Van Gundy said. "So, you've been there one out of 30. It's like 3%, so it's like he's 97% behind, I guess. It's a long, long way behind. It's tough to miss all of that time and seeing these other two guys go at it every day. ... It's going to be tough. Quite honestly I don't think that at the beginning of the season, at least, that I would play him ahead of those guys.
"It's unfortunate. Maybe he'll bounce back and be so good and everything else. We'll see, but he's way behind."
Bynum, for what it's worth, doesn't think he's that far behind:
"I'm close to being back," Bynum said. "I'm a fighter and I've been in tough situations before. I'm watching and learning the offense and defense and I'm able to observe.
"I think we help each other out. I'm trying to help D.J. and Brandon out on the side and when I get back I'm sure they'll try to help me."
[...] "After everything is said and done, the bottom line is this is still basketball. The goal is to go out there and play. I don't see myself as being really far behind."
What's left unsaid is that Bynum likely entered training camp on the bubble -- the Pistons have 16 guaranteed contracts for 15 roster spots. It's possible that Aaron Gray could be released if he's not medically cleared from a cardiac episode earlier this summer, or Tony Mitchell if Van Gundy doesn't think he can tap into his potential. Those would be the cheapest options.
But Bynum is in the final year of his contract, and even if the Pistons find eating his entire $2.9 million salary too unappetizing, it likely wouldn't be too hard to find a trade partner willing to take on some of his salary in exchange for a conditional second-round pick.
Even if he's healthy, the minutes likely won't be there. D.J. Augustin is so talented that he might even steal Brandon Jennings' starting job, and recent reports suggest Spencer Dinwiddie is making solid progress recovering from last January's ACL tear.