With the 49th pick in the second round of the 2016 NBA Draft, the Detroit Pistons selected former Syracuse Orange guard Michael Gbinije. Gbinije joins fellow Orange guard Malachi Richardson as SU players who heard their names called tonight. Richardson went 22nd overall to the Sacramento Kings (via trade with the Charlotte Hornets).
Gbinije played at Syracuse for three seasons following his transfer from Duke. While he started as a pretty unassuming player off the bench, he'd wrap up his career as the team's leading scorer and emotional leader during SU's shocking march to the Final Four this spring.
As a fifth-year senior, Silent G scored 17.5 points per game, to go with four rebounds and four assists per game. He shot 46 percent from the floor and became a bit of a volume shooter by season's end -- which was mostly be necessity given Syracuse's struggles scoring at times.
On his career, Gbinije appeared to improve as he took on more and more of the scoring load for the SU offense, though obviously functioned better when he had help. It's unlikely his high usage rate from 2015-16 repeats itself in the NBA, which could mean better outcomes for him long-term.
In advance of this year's draft, scouts were a bit concerned about his age (he's 24 at this point). But his smarts and the fact that he's a known commodity were still helping him rise on draft boards.
As a second round pick, Gbinije isn't guaranteed a roster spot or a contract just yet. He'll still need to earn a place by way of the NBA's Summer League and camp. There's a chance that he could also head to the D-League, if not Europe too, depending on his preference and the opportunities that present themselves.
Congrats to Silent G and Mali, and good luck in the NBA!