This is the 15th and final of my season previews! FINALLY DONE WOOT WOOT I MADE IT MOM.
Michael has no NBA stats or shot chart. College stats though.
Where he stands now:
He was the Pistons 2nd round pick, and he is 24 and will be for pretty much the whole season. He is one of several wings competing for minutes and likely will start out at the bottom of the list.
What to generally expect from him this year:
Gbinije is competing with KCP, Stanley, Bullock, and Hilliard for minutes on the wing. Both KCP and Stanley are firmly at the top of that list and Bullock should have a clear leg up as of now. Gbinije will have to work his way up throughout the season for minutes, and could possibly give minutes at SG or SF, and possibly even PG in a pinch.
The hope for Gbinije is that he is a swiss army knife type on offense, which is pretty much what he was in college. A guy who can really shoot the 3, pass the ball, and also slash to the hoop a bit. It was often said that if he was 20 years old he would have been a sure fire lottery pick, but alas, 24 year olds don't get a ton of hype as draft prospects. If he can make good on his percieved skill from college he would give a look that the Pistons don't really have on the wing, as neither Bullock or KCP are much for ball handling and creating their own shots, Stanley is not much of a shooter (and very turnover prone as a ball handler) and Hilliard might not be any good.
Some people have suggested he get minutes at PG, and I would disagree with that for now. You don't want to heap too much on him too fast, for now the hope should be that he is a good shooter who can put the ball on the floor with some effectiveness, not as a guy who can be a true secondary ball handler. Keep it simple so that he can learn that stuff first, because even if he is 24, he is still just a rookie.
Gbinije was a very good defensive player in college and in his limited preseason minutes he looked like he had carried that over to the NBA. Once again, the hope is that he is a swiss army knife type of guy, at 6'7 he has really good length that neither Bullock or KCP has, which allows him to more credibly guard bigger wings (he was the most effective defender of Giannis in the preseason) and he looked freaking brilliant navigating screens. His combination of length and smarts is something that the Pistons are rather lacking on defense, and if his preseason defensive play was for real then it will be hard to keep him out of the rotation.
He is almost a veteran on this team at 24 years old, but I haven't heard a single thing to say what sort of dude he is in the locker room, so I won't pretend to have an opinion here.
So in conclusion...
Wink knowingly at your friends if:
Gbinije is gunning down 3s at over 40%.
Opponents cannot get a clean screen on him.
He gets some time running the point and looks alright.
Run for the hills if:
He rots on the bench all year.
He has to play the point a bit and looks totally overwhemled.
The brilliant defense of the preseason was just an outlier.
Opportunities for me to look stupid:
He is in the regular rotation by the all star break.
He is an awesome defender.
His ball handling is ok but he clearly shouldn't be running the point yet.
What do you think? Will Gbinije break the rotation? Can he actually play defense?