When Spencer Dinwiddie tore the ACL in his left knee on Jan. 12, it appeared that his NBA dreams would be put on hold.

Dinwiddie wasn't willing to wait, though, and on Thursday night, he got the NBA call.

The former Colorado star was selected by the Detroit Pistons with the eighth pick in the second round, No. 38 overall, in the NBA Draft.

"I'm really happy to be joining a new team, a new family in the Detroit Pistons," Dinwiddie told CUBuffs.com. "I'm looking forward to the new challenges that await with a new organization and a new city."

Dinwiddie is just the 11th former CU player to be taken within the first two rounds of the NBA Draft, which was reduced to two rounds in 1989. He is the third Buff to be selected in the last four years.

Despite his knee injury, which ended his junior season with the Buffaloes, Dinwiddie decided in April to skip his senior season at CU to pursue the NBA.

He was the fifth player in CU history to leave school early for the NBA, but became the first to slip out of the first round. Chauncey Billups (No. 3 overall pick in 1997), David Harrison (No. 29 in 2004), Alec Burks (No. 12 in 2011) and Andre Roberson (No. 26 in 2013) were all first rounders after leaving early.

"As for not being picked in the first round, things happen for a reason; it is, what it is," he said. "I'm can't wait to get started."


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A 6-foot-6 guard, Dinwiddie came into his junior year projected as a first-round pick, and was in the midst of a great season when he got hurt. He averaged a team-best 14.7 points, 3.8 assists and 3.1 rebounds per game last season. He is also known as an exceptional shooter, connecting on 46.6 percent of his field goals, 41.3 percent of his 3-pointers and 85.7 percent of his free throws as a junior.

The knee injury, however, hurt Dinwiddie's stock, as he missed the final 18 games of the season. Many pundits believe Dinwiddie has first-round talent, but he hasn't been able to show it in a while. Unlike many of his peers, he hasn't played since January, and because he is still going through rehabilitation, and was unable to work out for teams leading up to the draft.

Dinwiddie did, however, interview with most teams in the league and felt confident with how he presented himself in those interviews. Dinwiddie and his doctors have also been pleased with how his health is progressing. He said this week that he's been cleared to do everything on the court, except five-on-five contact drills.

Cleary, Dinwiddie did enough to impress the Pistons, and he is now positioned to be the 19th former Buff to play in the NBA. He will also get a chance to join forces with Billups, who plays for the Pistons and will be going into his 18th NBA season.

Contact staff writer Brian Howell at howellb@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/BrianHowell33.