The One Detroit Pistons Player Who Deserves More Credit
No, that wasn't a typo. I actually believe that there is someone in this absolute abyss of a season for the Detroit Pistons that is not getting enough credit.
No, it isn't center Greg Monroe, who is possibly the best player on the team, but has seriously regressed in his third season. People know him and his game, and he is receiving as much due as he deserves, perhaps even a little bit more.
It isn't Charlie Villanueva who has been effective in short doses, but still doesn't deserve his huge contract or the money he figures to make next year should he exercise his player option (he would be insane not to).
And it sure isn't Rodney Stuckey who not only meekly gave up his starting gig earlier this year, but has been nearly non-existent all season until now, of course when the campaign is a lost cause. If Alex Rodriguez is king of the pointless home run, then Stuckey is king of the pointless 30 point game.
Perhaps the only other player on this team that deserves more credit than he receives is Brandon Knight, who has been doing all he can to keep his sanity and his team above water.
He deserves credit for getting destroyed by DeAndre Jordan a few weeks back, even if it made him the walking personification of a poster.
But he doesn't get the nod because he still is overrated as a player and has not shown even a semblance of the point guard chops we all hoped he would have by now.
No, the player that deserves more credit this year is without a doubt Will Bynum.
Think about this for a moment. Bynum began the season as the primary backup point guard, but then was pushed out of the rotation inexplicably.
Bynum wasn't setting the world on fire, but he was playing solid basketball in limited minutes.
By November 30, Bynum was out of the rotation and went nearly two weeks before he saw even one minute of playing time.
But rather than stew about his demotion, he said all the right things in the media and just continued to work hard.
By the end of December, he was back in his role as backup point guard and became the Pistons' ace in the hole.
Upon finally getting inserted back into the rotation, Bynum helped lead the Pistons to wins in six of their next seven games. This was following a stretch in which the team had lost six straight. Bynum was the only considerable difference in the Pistons lineup during that time.
Throughout the course of the next few months, there were only a few constants in Detroit. One was that the Pistons would lose more games than they won. But the other was that Bynum always showed up and gave maximum effort and the results were usually very good.
Since January, Bynum has never had a month in which he averaged fewer than 10 points per game. He has done this despite a new addition that was given the starting point guard job. He has done this with Andre Drummond (whom he made an immediate connection with) and without him. He has even done this in London, England. In fact, Bynum was the only reason that the Pistons didn't get beat by at least 30 in that game.
The fact of the matter is that the Pistons have been a wretched bunch this season, finding new ways to lose nearly every night. But through it all, Bynum has been putting in work and is perhaps the only player that has been able to consistently answer the call each night.
Future is unclear
Despite all that he has done for this mediocre team, Bynum still doesn't have a strong indication that he will be back with the Pistons. The team is obviously looking for a starting point guard and are hoping to bring back Jose Calderon.
But they also are going to need a backup point guard and it appears that Bynum could easily fit with what the Pistons are hoping to do from here on out. The Pistons are hoping to be a more dynamic team offensively, capitalizing on turnovers to begin fast-break opportunities. Bynum is perhaps the team's best player in the open court.
So why wouldn't the Pistons bring him back?
For one, Bynum isn't getting any younger. He will be 31 at some point next season and players like Bynum that rely a lot on their athleticism and quickness don't generally age very well.
There also is a question of how much he would cost. Bynum knows that he is fast approaching his last contract years, so he will probably want to make this one count.
The Pistons should seriously consider bringing Bynum back if they can get him to sign on for what he is making this year (just over $3 million) for a year or two.
If he is looking for three years or more, the Pistons obviously have to pass.
However, there probably will be some competition for his services and the Pistons would be wise to treat him well.
The fact of the matter is that there are not a lot of players like Bynum, players that play with professionalism and grace and can score in bunches to boot.
This is just the type of player that the Pistons need around and someone that certainly has not received enough credit.
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