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Will Bynum out of the rotation because Lawrence Frank decides against trying to play three point guards

Dave Pemberton of The Oakland Press talked with Lawrence Frank about a forgotten Piston in the early-season rotation, Will Bynum:

“It’s hard,” Frank said. “Will’s a very, very good player. He’s obviously a guy we see as a game changer, especially on the offensive end. Someone who … is one of our better pick-and-roll players. But it’s hard to play three point guards, especially cause outside of Rodney our guards are small.

“Will’s definitely going to have his day in the sun. He’s going to help us win games, but right now this is where we’re at.”

The problem with Bynum on the roster is not only is he on the diminutive side, but the organization has more invested long-term in Rodney Stuckey and Brandon Knight. They need minutes. The problem for coaches is that Bynum is one of the hardest working players in the league. Despite some flaws to his game, he’s been productive when given minutes. He’s exactly the type of hard-working, hungry, overachieving player coaches love, which makes it so hard to leave him out of the rotation.

This is another subtle difference between Frank and his predecessor, John Kuester. Kuester simply couldn’t make the necessary step of shortening his rotation. Consequently, he played too many guards, none of them ever felt comfortable in their role and all were yanked in and out of the rotation. I like Frank’s honesty in admitting that Bynum should basically be playing, but the need to have a consistent rotation and the reality of the roster trumps his desire to want to give everyone minutes.

I’m sure Bynum isn’t happy not playing and I haven’t seen him comment on it yet, but Frank not playing him for the time being is what’s best as the team still tries to figure out Stuckey’s best role and tries to develop Knight into a starting caliber lead guard.


  • Jan 3, 201210:42 am
    by JT's Hoops Blog


    It’s tough to see good players like that get the shaft, but hey those are the breaks.

  • Jan 3, 201211:18 am
    by Laser


    Well, I don’t think Curry or Kuester had a problem benching Bynum. Both of them did it with ease and probably enjoyed every minute. But Frank has Knight to work with, and no Rip Hamilton. That makes a big difference. The offense flowed significantly better when Bynum was on the floor the last few seasons. I have a feeling with this new offense he won’t have quite as much of an impact, especially if Knight continues to progress and Gordon keeps up his efficiency with the ball.

    • Jan 3, 201211:19 am
      by Laser


      Of course, the solution here would be to trade Gordon for some frontcourt help, but I don’t think there’s a level of production he could reach that would establish enough trade value for that.

  • Jan 3, 201211:35 am
    by Todd


    One piece I do hope this opens for the team is the option of packaging a guy like Will Bynum (or even Stuckey for that matter) with some of our other parts that don’t fit in an upcoming move. I would love to see us bring back a big with some defensive prowess to fit in at the 4 or 5.

  • Jan 3, 201211:43 am
    by RyanK


    Bynum has almost always been a look for his shot first type of guard.  I cringe when I see him lining up to make his move to the basket.  When the defense doesn’t pay attention to him it works well…but when they are waiting for him to make his move it almost always ends with his shot blocked or the ball turned over.  He’s had some big assist nights, but most the time he’s putting up a low percentage shot near the rim.
    As long as Stuckey, Gordon, and Knight are healthy, it’s going to be hard to find minutes for Bynum.  Particularly when Gordon has done a good job distributing the basketball.  Can you really justify playing Bynum while Knight is watching from the pine?  Fans would probably burn the palace to the ground if that happened regularly.
    I give Franks credit for making sure he keeps his best players on the floor.  I like the fact he benched Daye, CV, and Bynum and has found a way to get production from Gordon while not killing the rest of the team’s offense.  It seems like the effort is good there and I’m seeing ball movement that has been lacking for a while.

  • Jan 3, 201211:52 am
    by pratt321


    that sucks ! I like Will as a player . I would rather sit suckey for a min. and see what will can do …

  • Jan 3, 201212:07 pm
    by brgulker


    Trade sweetener.

    Feel bad for the dude that this is what it’s come to for him. He’s a serviceable backup PG, no doubt, and I hope he gets moved somewhere that he gets to play.

    That said, he’s clearly a better player than Knight is right now, but PH is right that this isn’t about now. It’s about the long-term.

  • Jan 3, 201212:24 pm
    by Donilla


    When you just drafted a Point Guard and made a shooting guard able to play point guard.  I don’t think so.  You can’t give everybody 20 minutes and think they will be productive.  I know Will is a hometown favorite but he is there if someone gets hurt.  And he will be effective if that happens.  How would Knight develop if Will is getting PT? 

  • Jan 3, 201212:41 pm
    by flip


    Not really concerned about how bynum feels. The guys ahead of him are better so they are playing instead. Its that simple. Its not gym class where everybody gets a chance to participate, like Kuester ran the team.

    We should be able to trade Bynum now that its clear we dont need him. Nice insurance to have, but for almost $4 mil/yr, thats too much to invest an insurance when we have other weaknesses that could addressed.

  • Jan 3, 20121:16 pm
    by DoctorDaveT


    The Detroit Winning Forumula has been (for decades) a 3 guard rotation. Those teams have always had more than three guards (duh!), but they didn’t play except in non-competitive circumstances (basically injury or blowout).
    Granted, Bynum is probably better than some/most/all of the past “third point guard” options; but rotations must be established.
    Brandon Knight is the PG of the future. He must be played while expectations are low. Even if playing Bynum adds 2-5 wins to this season’s total: is that worth it in the long run? No way.
    Kudos to Frank for decisiveness. Bynum is good enough to land somewhere else when injuries hit. Perhaps injury necessities on the part of a contending team will make a Piston trade advantageous.

  • Jan 3, 20121:32 pm
    by Duke


    Will Bynum, given the minutes, is just as good or better than any of the guards in the current rotation. W’e're playing Stuck and BG because of thier contracts mostly, although they are playing decent right now. This want be a real issue until we get midway into the season and it becomes a race to the draft. We will start playing WB, win a few games and start talking about trading Stuck and BG again. We need to make a decision right now on getting some help up front. If Knight is the future lets give him the keys now and utilize or best trade asset, Stuck and get some real value back.

    • Jan 3, 20122:10 pm
      by Marvin Jones


      About the only guard Will is better than now is Knight and that’s because he’s a rookie, Will is a 5’10 shooting guard in a point guard’s body, his defense is pathetic, he can’t keep anybody in front of him. Stuckey’s size speed and defense and Ben’s score from anywhere ability make Will expendable and hopefully there’s a deal out there to be had for him. 

      • Jan 4, 201212:51 am
        by Laser


        I respectfully disagree with virtually all of this. Bynum is probably the purest point guard we have on the roster. He may still be a shoot first point guard, but who ahead of him isn’t? On offense, Stuckey is literally only good for drawing fouls and missing layups. On defense, Bynum beats Gordon any day of the week. On everything besides spot-up threes, Bynum is much better than Knight. But all three of those guys has a non-basketball reason for playing ahead of him. It sucks, and it isn’t fair to Will, but this is just another serious problem Joe created when he ruined the team.

        • Jan 4, 20125:21 pm
          by jack


          What are you smoking.  Bynum was in the rotation the first 3 games and we lost all of them.  He would not be the best guard on a d league team much less the pistons.  Stuckey is much better at driving to the rim making layups drawing fouls, a better defender.  BG is playing like BG in Chicago, and even Knight is much better than Willie B.  Tell me when was the last time Wille B average double figure scoring over 5 games.  I can’t remember and knight is doing it as a rookie in 22 mpg.  Plus he is giving us the rebounding passing and defense.  If his numbers go up slightly not only will he be in the race for roy but also 6th man of the year.  Now go digest this and stop smoking that sh**t.

  • Jan 3, 20122:55 pm
    by DVS


    It is kind of sad to see Bynum miss out on minutes but the way Stuckey, BG and Knight have been playing he shouldn’t be playing.
    I’m sure he’s working hard in practice and pushing the young guys everyday, so he isn’t completely useless.
    I’m in no rush to trade him. If any injuries come up we know we have probably the best 3rd string PG in the league. He’ll get  a chance at some stage

  • Jan 3, 20124:21 pm
    by Jason


    While I hate even coming up with a trade scenario for Bynum, i’d rather see him excel elsewhere, then sit on the bench. Anyone have some actual trade proposals?

    First thing that comes to mind to me is the Golden State Warriors. While I know they have two solid, undersized guards already, they have no problem playing small ball – and with Curry injured, i’m sure they could use a third capable, fast paced guard.
    Charlie Villanueva & Will Bynum for Biedrins and a throw in? I don’t know if it would work, but on paper – the skill sets match what BOTH teams are looking for, and none of the players are getting much (or any) minutes with their current squads. Charlie V and Bynum can score, and Biedrins can rebound.
    What do you guys think?

    • Jan 3, 20127:19 pm
      by gmehl1977


      GS just signed Nate Robinson

  • Jan 3, 20124:55 pm
    by swish22


    Frank has committed to defense first which also leaves Wil on the short end of the stick so to speak!!    Hopefully we’ll move Stuckey down the road and he can be the backup point to Knight!  For now he’ll work hard in practice and not complain.  Perfect!    Very happy to see BG playing well.  Never ever liked the signing but have grown to really  root for BG.  A true professional amidst the 2011 chaos!  

  • [...] • Why Will Bynum is out of the rotation in Detroit. [...]

  • Jan 3, 20125:15 pm
    by BIG MARV


    Bynum is good insurance policy thats why the pistons kept him so long just incase a guy gets hurt, benched, or whatever bynum will come in and fill the position and do a damn good job at it he will be fine and I think he know his role.

    • Jan 4, 201212:55 am
      by Laser


      That’s not his role for any reason other than problems with the roster (namely that Joe was forced to draft a small guard after paying Gordon a fortune to be small here forever), and nobody in the world pays $3.5 million annually for an “insurance policy” at guard.

  • Jan 3, 20126:46 pm
    by Scott


    Trade him to some playoff team(Portland & Indiana are the first teams that come to mind) for a 2012 2nd round pick

    • Jan 4, 201212:56 am
      by Laser


      a 2nd rounder? give me a break.

    • Jan 4, 20125:20 pm
      by BIG MARV


      IDK about a trade yet because we can still use bynum in different situations. I say once he start complaing about playing time or Frank just dont have a role for him by the trading deadline then I will shop my options for him

  • Jan 3, 201211:20 pm
    by khandor


    Lawrence Frank is a solid NBA head coach. A solid NBA head coach knows that one of the most important aspects of his job is to establish an effective and reasonable rotation – which makes sense to the players on his roster, as a collective – relatively quickly, in order to develop Team Cohesiveness.
    Lawrence Frank is miles ahead of John Kuester, in this regard, and the Pistons will at least have a chance to compete for a playoff spot this season as a result.
    Going back to the summer of 2009, putting Will Bynum on the bench – not because he is a “bad” player, as a serviceable backup PG, but, primarily – because an exclusive 3-guard rotation at the 1 and 2 spots was advocated by yours truly as the best model for Detroit to use given that two of the team’s key players have the attributes of Rodney Stuckey [i.e. a big combo PG/OG who is not a good perimeter shooter] and Ben Gordon [i.e. a small combo PG/OG who is a good perimeter shooter]. It warms the heart to see that Lawrence Frank is in agreement with me.
    PS. Those Pistons fans who worried that Brandon Knight may not ever develop into a top flight PG in the NBA based on his stats from his 1 year in the NCAA will eventually be wrong.

  • Jan 4, 20124:37 am
    by Gregoire


    Why should the Pacers want Bynum? They already have Collison and Hill at PG…the CV + Bynum for Biedriens trade sounds interresting, though I am not a big Fan of Biedriens…can anyone tell me how many years he has left on his Contract?

    • Jan 4, 20129:04 am
      by Patrick Hayes


      Two years after this one at $9 million per. The last year is a player option that Biedrins will likely pick up b/c no one else would give him close to $9 million.

      • Jan 4, 20121:14 pm
        by Laser


        He sounds like a good get if we can move CV.

        • Jan 4, 20121:20 pm
          by Patrick Hayes


          Yeah, I wouldn’t mind him. But the new regime in GS has been paying lip service to improving the defense, so I doubt they’d be a fit for CV these days.

          • Jan 4, 20121:49 pm
            by Jason

            Very true, but I actually live up here in the Bay area (CA) now, and even though they are claiming to be moving towards a defensive minded style, I’ll believe it when I see it. After signing a couple bigs, all signs lead to them wanting to trade Biedrins.. Whether they can or not, remains to be seen. He’s not ideal, but I think he could help the Pistons on the boards, if nothing else.

            I wish the Lakers had something to offer us, I could see Villanueva fitting in well, giving them length at the “3″, that they definitely could use after losing Odom. He’s basically a poor man’s Odom, when you really think about it..

    • Jan 4, 20121:57 pm
      by Jason


      Another option that might make sense is New Orleans.. Though less likely, they do have both Okafor and Kaman on the books and are light at PF. I’m sure they wouldn’t mind having someone to help our Jarret Jack, either.

  • [...] Will Bynum is out of the Pistons rotation. [...]

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