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Most college basketball fans know Buddy Boeheim as the son of legendary Syracuse basketball coach Jim Boeheim. But the 6-foot-6 guard was an excellent player in his own right. And although he wasn’t drafted in the 2022 NBA Draft, the Detroit Pistons are giving the sharpshooter a chance to make it in the NBA.

Syracuse’s Buddy Boeheim has a shot at making it in the NBA

Buddy Boeheim of the Syracuse Orange just signed an NBA contract with the Detroit Pistons.
Buddy Boeheim | Bryan Bennett/Getty Images

Jim Boeheim is Syracuse University basketball. The upstate New York native played ball at Syracuse, then became an assistant coach for the Orange, and has led the basketball program as the head coach since 1976.

His 998 wins with the Orange is second only to Mike Krzyzewski’s 1,202. Jim’s five Final Fours are tied for eighth all-time, and, in 2003, he won a national championship with the help of freshman star Carmelo Anthony.

In 2018, Jim’s youngest son, Buddy, joined his team. After averaging just 17.1 minutes per game as a freshman, Buddy became a star for his father’s squad. In his senior season, the Syracuse native led the ACC in scoring, averaging 19.2 points per game. He also shot 41.0% from 3-point range in his career.

Buddy is a skilled catch-and-shoot swingman with good NBA size. However, he doesn’t have elite quickness or athleticism and will have to prove he can play NBA-level man-to-man defense after four years in his father’s famous 2-3 zone.

The athleticism and defense are concerns — which is why no franchise drafted him — but in the modern NBA, knockdown shooters are at a premium.

The rebuilding Detroit Pistons decided that Buddy’s shooting chops are enough to give him a shot. The organization signed the former ‘Cuse star to a two-way contract for the 2022-23 season.


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Detroit has a lot of young offensive and defensive talent, led by 2021 No. 1 pick Cade Cunningham. However, the team struggled shooting the deep ball in 2021-22. Only Cory Joseph attempted more than 100 3-pointers last season (154) and shot over 40%. Collectively, the Pistons shot 32.6% from deep last season, which was second-worst in the league.

If Buddy Boeheim can prove he’s a knockdown shooter at the NBA level and improve his defense enough that he’s not a massive liability, he can have a solid NBA career.

All stats courtesy of Sports Reference