Former Syracuse star Michael Gbinije will return to the Santa Cruz Warriors of the NBA G-League next season, the team announced Tuesday.
Gbinije, the leading scorer on SU’s last Final Four team in 2015-2016, spent last year with the G-League Warriors, tallying 8.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game, despite missing 22 games to injury.
After a season at Duke, Gbinije transferred to Syracuse, and gradually became one of the SU’s best players. By his senior year, he led the Orange in scoring at 17.5 points per game to go with 4.1 rebounds and 4.3 assists.
After his time on The Hill, Gbinije was selected by the Detroit Pistons with the 49thoverall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. However, just nine games and several D-League (at the time) assignments later, he was waived the following summer.
For the 2017-2018 season, Gbinije joined Santa Cruz, the G-League affiliate of the Golden State Warriors, pairing with fellow SU-alum, James Southerland. Injuries limited Gbinije to just 28 games, but the 26-year-old started and ended his season adequately.
In the first month, Gbinije averaged 10.1 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game. In the season’s final month, he registered 13.0 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.6 steals per contest.
After playing with the New York Knicks in this year’s summer league, Gbinije now rejoins the Warriors for his third year in the G-League and second with the team.
Who knows, if he stays healthy and plays well, Gbinije could see some NBA action this season. Better yet, if he ever gets called up from Santa Cruz, he’ll be suiting up for the defending champions.
So far, Gbinije is one of three former Syracuse players set to play in the G-League next season, joining John Gillon and Hakim Warrick.
G-League games begin Oct. 26.