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Will Bynum negotiating a contract with his former Israeli team, Maccabi Tel Aviv

Will Bynum still has a strong connection Israel, where he played before joining the Pistons and where he’ll host a basketball camp this summer. That connection might be so strong that he rejoins his former team, Maccabi Tel Aviv. David Pick of Eurobasket:

A source exclusively informed ‘Eurobasket’ that Bynum, who played for Maccabi between the 2006-2008 seasons, expressed strong interest in and is eager to return to Israel for a so-called ‘remix’, where he would pair up with childhood friend, Jeremy Pargo, creating one of the most talented, fastest and most athletic back court line in Europe, as they will work to win a Euroleague title. ‘Bynum would love to go back to Maccabi if it made sense,’ said a source with knowledge of Bynum’s situation, adding, ‘But I know it would be tough for Maccabi to lose him if/when the lockout ends.’

Bynum aka ‘Bynumite’, for his explosive athletic ability, played the last three seasons in the NBA for the Detroit Pistons and still has a signed contract with the organization. However, sources close to the player confirmed that he might be interested in opting out of his contract to join Maccabi. ‘He did love playing overseas and especially with Maccabi and would never turn down an opportunity to go back if it made sense.’

Israeli sources confirmed that Maccabi is negotiating contract terms with an NBA point guard.

This seems like a good move for Bynum.

He makes a below-average NBA salary , and he probably won’t be set for life with just his current contract. A chance to make a little extra money during the lockout makes sense for guys like him.

He’s lived in Israel before, so not only would the culture shock be minimal or non-existent, he’d be moving to a place he enjoyed living before.

Plus, Bynum clearly loves basketball. Even in a league full of the world’s best basketball players, Bynum’s outward joy for playing the game stands well above the pack. I’m sure he’d love to spend more time on the court, even if that means travelling halfway across the globe.


Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News spoke with Mark Bartelstein, Bynum’s agent:

"Will loved his time with Maccabi, and we’re taking it one step at a time," Bartelstein said. "Nothing’s off the board, they treated him great. He’s always talked about wanting to go back to Maccabi at some point in his career."


  • Jul 11, 20111:02 pm
    by @DetroitBuckets


    Hopefully he signs with Maccabi ………   and stays there.

  • Jul 11, 20112:10 pm
    by Laser


    this would probably be a smart move from bynum’s perspective. go somewhere he’s appreciated, play big minutes and lead a competitive team.

    that would soften the blow, because i think this would be terrible for the pistons. bynum makes plays and is a great backup PG. he’s fun to watch, he plays his heart out, and he’s one of the scant few players on our books who has a favorable contract.

    maybe the backcourt wouldn’t be a total disaster if you mostly paired knight/rip and sutckey/gordon until you can dump someone without attaching a lottery pick. but for having spent three full seasons together on a roster with virtually no exciting player combinations, i would have liked to see more of stuckey and him playing together.

    • Jul 11, 20112:24 pm
      by Dan Feldman


      His contract with Maccabi would become void once the lockout ends.

      • Jul 12, 20111:22 am
        by Laser


        then why would be have to “opt out” of his NBA contract? that’s what your source said.

        • Jul 12, 20111:33 am
          by Dan Feldman


          It’s a foreign source. Something must’ve been lost in translation. NBA players under contract cannot sign with FIBA leagues without having an out for when the lockout ends.

  • Jul 11, 20112:18 pm
    by Chill


    I understand why he doesn’t get more playing time here in Detroit, but he was team’s only true point guard.  I liked watching him play, but unless the team can dump two other guards, it makes no sense for him to stay.  He was an adequate back up point guard for the price.

  • Jul 11, 20112:23 pm
    by tt


    That is the best news I heard all day selfish play good bye.

  • Jul 11, 20112:25 pm
    by Jon L.


    No complaints here.

  • Jul 11, 20112:50 pm
    by tim o


    good for him…will some of ya;ll shush up…

  • Jul 11, 20113:35 pm
    by brgulker


    Obviously, this would be great for Will. Given his relative pay scale, it makes all sorts of financial sense, too.
    Clearly, said contract doesn’t impact his status with the Pistons. His fate was sealed when Dumars selected Knight. Deservedly or not (I lean toward the latter), his spot in the guard rotation disappeared on draft night.
    To be fair to Will, Dumars should (and probalby will) find a way to trade him. Given his appropriate contract, that shouldn’t be too hard.

    • Jul 12, 201110:14 am
      by tarsier


      Or trade Knight. I feel like a deal for Millsap or Toronto’s 2012 first rounder could work for both sides. Obviously there would have to be more moving part too. But I would love either of those as a starting point.

  • Jul 11, 20114:10 pm
    by Noa Daniely


    Yeah! go to play for Maccabi! then I finally watch you play again without traveling all the way to Deroit.. :)

  • Jul 11, 20118:08 pm
    by Duke


                Yeah, I don’t think the owners and star players in league really understand how their lack of comprise affects players like Will but also the behind the scenes individuals. I am all for him and anyone else in his situation not making millions. As far as the Pistons, his role will have to be addressed, although I know he would destroy knight in camp, he’s probably done there. No one wants the contracts or headaches of Rip of BG, so he’s unfairly the easiest one to let go. However, he is a solid backup guard and once on another right team I am sure he will do great.

    • Jul 12, 201110:18 am
      by tarsier


      Bynum is making millions. Not as many millions as some players. But he makes as much in a year than someone at $50,000 a year (fairly normal salary) would make in 65 years–well over a normal lifetime of work.

  • Jul 14, 20117:46 am
    by duke


    Roger, I guess you’re making the argument that athletes are overpaid, maybe they are in some regards, as we all would like to see higher salaries for teachers and similar jobs that have such a huge impact on our overall society. However athletes get paid market value, the market being us and most have worked hard to get where they are. Yes, a few are born tall, fast, or big but as a whole they put in the time and effort to have success at their job. Most people and I’m included grew up preparing for job that have an average salary, so I don’t personally complain about the salaries of athlete. I am a big Will Bynum fan, because I have watched him since grade school, moving from project to project. I watched him maintain a 3.5 GPA average through high school, I watched him at ARIZ and GT and overseas. I have watched him prepare his entire life to have success, so I think he put in the work and deserves everything he has now. He actually still doesn’t make millions; yes he signed a three-year 10.5 million contract but after taxes, agent fees, league and union fees that number is cut over half, making him average around the same 800K he has always made. However Will doesn’t play for the money, he always gives back, he plays for the love of the game. That’s what’s makes him unique in the league.

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