Michael Gbinije knows he’s old, but all that matters is he gets a chance

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Related Stories How Michael Gbinije fits into the Detroit Pistons’ rotationMichael Gbinije selected by the Detroit Pistons with 49th pick in 2016 NBA DraftMalachi Richardson after being drafted: ‘It just feels like an animal being lifted off my back’Syracuse community reacts to Malachi Richardson becoming 1st-round draft pickMalachi Richardson selected by Sacramento via Charlotte with 22nd overall pick NEW YORK — As Friday morning approached, Michael Gbinije sat in section 25 of the Barclays Center waiting. He too, like Malachi Richardson, had slipped past his projected landing spot. The second round is far more of a toss-up than the first, so Gbinije could’ve finished the night sitting amid the fans in Brooklyn.Instead, the former Syracuse point guard heard his name called 49th overall, and he’ll join the Detroit Pistons to start his NBA career.The biggest question surrounding Gbinije is his age. He’s 24. Some prospects in the draft are five years younger, which means five more years of unproven ability in a league based on potential.“It’s a young man’s draft,” Gbinije said. “But I’m just looking forward to using my wisdom and experience.”Gbinije sees himself as a point guard in the NBA, a position he played out of necessity in his senior season and excelled at. He noted how Syracuse’s pick-and-roll-heavy offense is similar to NBA offenses and that experience running the floor in such a system will translate to the next level.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBut playing the floor maestro isn’t what Gbinije thinks will carry over in the biggest capacity, but something every Syracuse player is hounded about coming out of the 2-3 zone.“You know, I’ve got to hang my hat on defense,” he said. “That’s probably going to be my role, if I do play, obviously.”Most prospects say they can help a team right away. That they’ve always been ready to contribute immediately to an NBA team. Gbinije knows the extended path he’s taken, and that it might take a little longer to become a significant difference-maker. And even despite his age, he thinks his strongest attribute is the upside that comes along with spending five years in college.“You know, you learn more,” Gbinije said. “You know more going into it; (I am) battle-tested, had to deal with adversity throughout my whole college career.”Gbinije was 11 picks away from having to hope he’d latch on with a summer league team through free agency.Instead, he exhaled and smiled wide, even though the moment came at the end of a longer road than most.“A lot of anxiety just waiting to hear your name called,” Gbinije said. “My heart is still beating right now, and I got drafted, so you can imagine.” Commentscenter_img Published on June 24, 2016 at 1:08 am Contact Matt: mcschnei@syr.edu | @matt_schneidmanlast_img

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