What kind of NBA player will Syracuse guard Malachi Richardson be?

Malachidrive

Richardson could be a first round pick

Somehow it’s already June. Lacrosse is over, there’s only lingering recruiting news for basketball and football, and for the first time in a while, the news cycle is…dare I say…slow.

So now we can turn our attention to the NBA draft which will be held later this month. Two Syracuse players have a realistic shot at being drafted, one more so than the other. You know who I’m talking about. Guards Malachi Richardson and Michael Gbinije.

Syracuse players, outside of Carmelo Anthony, haven’t had the greatest amount of personal success in the league.

The seven other players besides Melo were on SU as recently as 2010. Some, like Michael Carter-Williams and Dion Waiters have shown flashes of success. Rakeem Christmas, Tyler Ennis, Jerami Grant and Chris McCullough are still early in their young careers.

» Related: 2016 NBA Draft Profile: Syracuse G/F Michael Gbinije

And Wes Johnson, who was so good in his one season donning orange, has remained in the league but not been the kind of player we all expected him to be.

So what will become of Malachi Richardson? I have high hopes for him. I think he can be an effective player in the NBA in a couple years. I don’t know about Michael Gbinije, but I think if given the opportunity, he can carve out a role on a good team.

Richardson proved he can carry a team on his back in one game. Gbinije basically did that the whole season.

If you’re a highly touted player like Richardson, you only need a year to prove yourself and you’re set for the NBA. If you’re Gbinije and need five years, it’s a little harder.

Just look at Buddy Hield and how long he stayed in college.

But at the end of the day, all that matters is what you do when you get to the league. You just have to get there.

And SU has a good core group of young players with potential in the NBA right now. We could see a few young stars in a couple of years. Or sooner.

Now, if only they had all stayed at Cuse for all four years…

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Rachel Marcus

About Rachel Marcus

Rachel is currently a Digital Production Assistant at ESPN. She has previously interned at SportsNet New York and has contributed to Dime Magazine and covered beats ranging from Big East basketball to men’s soccer for The Daily Orange. She is originally from Maryland. Follow her on Twitter @rachelnmarcus.
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