In the vast world of worldwide professional basketball, it's amazing how small it can sometimes seem. Former Detroit Pistons point guard Will Bynum has agreed to a deal to join the Guandong Southern Tigers in the Chinese Basketball Association, according to multiple reports. Bynum will replace top draft prospect Emmanuel Mudiay, who has an injured ankle an has no reason to rush a return to action as he looks to solidify his position near the top of the 2015 NBA Draft.
There are many Pistons fans who are recently familiar with the Guandong team and of Mudiay as the Pistons have gotten off to a franchise-worst start and fans anxiously look toward the draft for answers. Could this be the case of a former Piston replacing a future Piston?
Let's just not let ourselves think like that for now.
Mudiay signed a $1 million deal with Guandong after he was unable to academically qualify to play for Southern Methodist University for head coach (and another former Piston!) Larry Brown. In China, Mudiay has played well and reportedly impressed scouts. He has averaged 17.7 points, six rebounds and six assists in 10 games.
Bynum, meanwhile, has apparently not found an opportunity to join an NBA team after being waived by the Boston Celtics before the season began. The Celtics traded Joel Anthony to the Pistons for Bynum, always intending to waive him. Bynum will get $3 million this season in the final year of his contract.
Adrian Wojnarowski indicates that Bynum was convinced to join Guandong via a deal that would pay him more than $1 million. Because the Chinese league allows only two American players and the team already has Chris Daniels as a center, the team will have to keep only one of either Bynum or Mudiay once Mudiay is healthy.
Jonathan Givony of Draft Express indicates the injury could keep Mudiay out around four weeks.