First things first, I just realized that if I switched those names around to Mike and Mali, you might think for a moment I’m talking about that CBS sitcom with Melissa McCarthy. Now I kind of wish I’d done that, because it would mean spending the rest of my morning coming up with a wacky opening credits sequence to my hypothetical show about two guys hoping to get drafted and the wacky antics that ensue.
But that said, let’s get to the actual meat of this post. The NBA Draft is tonight, and Syracuse is in line to have two players – Malachi Richardson and Michael Gbinije – get selected. Malachi is a surefire first round pick who could sneak into the back half of the lottery, while Gbinije is a probable second rounder, though the latest buzz is that he could rise up into the end of the first.
Draft Rumble: Hearing Syracuse's Michael Gbinjie may be an 11th-hour riser Thursday night and move into late first/early second round range
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 22, 2016
With that in mind, I thought I’d ask a couple of the guys from the Otto’s Grove Board of Directors to chime in and share their thoughts on where the two draftees for the Orange might land.
Malachi: Chicago at 14. “Scouts aren’t stupid, they saw how he rocked the Windy City in the Sweet 16/Elite 8 games. As long as Chicago stays windy, Malachi will have people saying ‘Derrick Rose who?'”
Gbinije: Phoenix at 34. “Why does Phoenix jump early on Gbinije? Because there are hunnies in Phoenix, and Gbinije gets the hunnies.”
Thanks Adam, providing the hard-hitting analysis and the llllllllladies as always. However, I certainly can’t argue with his logic.
Malachi: Atlanta at 12 (acquired from Utah on Wednesday). “The Hawks need a well-rounded shooting guard they’ve been missing since the days of Joe Johnson.
Gbinije: San Antonio at 29. “He will be a good fit for Pop’s system, where high character/high IQ guys like Mike fit right in and can play a specific role. Mike can provide energy on both ends of the floor.”
We have our first bold prediction of the day, from Jay, who believes Silent G will give SU a pair of first round picks.
Malachi: Chicago at 14. “Chicago needs a guard on the heels of trading away Rose. Mali would be quite the compliment to Butler. Enjoy the lottery, Mali. Thanks for the Final Four trip memories.”
Gbinije: Toronto at 27. “THE most underrated player in the National Collegiate Athletic Association last year (said in Macho Man Randy Savage voice). He’s played his way into the first round. He goes at pick 27 to the Toronto Raptors, but don’t be surprised if he goes earlier.”
Justin gets even bolder than Jay, pegging Gbinije to fly north to the Land of Rautins.
Malachi: Memphis at 17. “In need of some long range threat to take pressure off big fellas Z-Bo and Marc G, Memphis is elated that the 6-foot-6 athletic wing from Syracuse falls into their laps. Malachi pairs with a great PG in Conley to give the Grizzlies some ammo to make a couple more title runs with their aging core players.”
Gbinije: San Antonio at 29. “The Spurs are looking to get more athletic from the rotting corpse of longtime 6th man Manu Ginobili. Gbinije has the size and athleticism to play solid team defense, the range to be a threat from three off the bench, and all the intangibles you look for in an organization as professional and successful as San Antonio.”
Another vote for San Antonio, and like Jay and Justin, another pick for Mike G to go in the tail end of the first round. Kyle and the rest of Orange Nation certainly appreciate Gbinije, that’s for sure.
And now, let’s get on to my own predictions. I’m not sure if you’re aware, but I’m something of a seasoned pro when it comes to mock drafts. You’ll remember how brilliant I am when Patrick McCaw becomes one of the biggest steals of the draft this year. Oh, and Justin picked in that mock draft as well, but let’s keep the focus where it belongs: firmly on me.
Malachi: I think the other guys are correct in their assessments that Chicago and Atlanta are possible landing spots, though I think Chicago will wind up going with Wade Baldwin, and my gut feeling is that Atlanta takes a big man. So I admit it, I’m going with the safest pick possible: Memphis at 17. The Grizzlies reportedly love Malachi, and have also supposedly made him a promise that he won’t slip past him.
The only question now is whether he actually lasts until pick 17. Frankly, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if he’s off the board by the time Memphis is on the clock.
Gbinije: In my opinion, the guys are in the right ballpark in projecting Silent G in about the 27-34 range. I’d widen that a bit to, say, 25-40, and think there’s a very realistic chance he could fall anywhere inside that window. There are a lot of good fits here, but I’m going to go with New Orleans at 39. The Pelicans need scorers, and someone who can space the floor, and that’s exactly what Michael Gbinije can do. I could see Golden State, the Clippers, the Suns, and the Bucks being very strong possibilities as well, but I’m going with New Orleans.