On Tuesday, former Syracuse Orange guard Michael Gbinije arrived in Chicago for the NBA Draft Combine. The event isn't his final showcase before potentially hearing his name called. But it's among the most important ones.
Syracuse.com's Donna Ditota spoke to former Orange walk-on Rob McClanaghan, who's been training with Gbinije in Los Angeles. He's also been advising the recent Final Four participant on expectations. From his conversation with Ditota:
"I told him, 'They've seen you play a ton. It's not like they've never seen you before. Your games were all over ESPN. This week is just for what team he is best for, really."
Also from Ditota's piece:
"(Gbinije) has worked, over these past few weeks, to translate his game from the college level to a more NBA friendly phase. McClanaghan said Gbinije's fitness – he is never out of shape – was aided by SU's deep push into the postseason. A combine participant's most deadly sin, McClanaghan said, is to arrive in Chicago out of shape and provide teams with the unsettling possibility that 'you are not taking this seriously.'"
... Based on what we know of Gbinije from his time at Syracuse, it would be hard to imagine him failing to take anything seriously.
Portions of the NBA Draft Combine will appear on ESPN2 and ESPN3, so fans should be able to catch at least a few glimpses of both Gbinije and Malachi Richardson. Evaluations conducted in Chicago and during individual team workouts should provide teams and players alike with much clearer pictures of how the June 23 draft turns out.
Gbinije -- seen as a second round pick by many prognosticators -- has done a "heck of a job preparing for this," as McClanaghan told Ditota. Now we wait and see.