The clock may be ticking on Michael Gbinije

AUBURN HILLS, MI - NOVEMBER 14: Michael Gbinije
AUBURN HILLS, MI - NOVEMBER 14: Michael Gbinije /

With 15 players on the roster, the Detroit Pistons will eventually need to trim down to 14 players. Michael Gbinije is likely the odd man out.

The Detroit Pistons have now seen Aron Baynes, Marcus Morris, Beno Udrih (almost certainly) and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope depart, and have been replaced by Langston Galloway, Luke Kennard, Avery Bradley, Anthony Tolliver and Eric Moreland. Four players have been replaced by five, and with active rosters being reduced to 14 (plus two two-way contracts for players destined to play most of their season with the Grand Rapids Drive in the G League), there is a clear odd man out.

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While the Pistons won’t have to make a decision on the final 14 until the end of the preseason, Michael Gbinije is likely the easiest to drop from the active roster because of the nature of the guaranteed portion of his contract. Gbinije has another three years and about $4.7 million on his contract, but only $500,000 of his $1.312 million salary for this season is guaranteed.

Considering Gbinije is likely the least likely player on the current roster to make the team, it might make the most sense to cut him before July 15th. That’s the date when his contract becomes fully guaranteed, and instead of paying him only $500,000, if they cut him later the Pistons would be on the hook for his whole 2017-18 salary.

However, this might not be the end of the road for the Detroit Pistons and Michael Gbinije. Even if the Pistons do waive him to get his roster spot and save $812,000, they could give him a training camp invite after he clears waivers or even sign him to a two-way contract and keep him in the organization for the foreseeable future.

Next: KCP signs contract with the Lakers

The next few days could be the most important stretch in Michael Gbinije’s career, so keep an eye on moves involving him this week.