A Royal Selection: Justise Winslow


Justise Winslow

Height: 6’ 6” Weight: 220

For a good majority of the NCAA Basketball season Justise Winslow was my favorite prospect. He was a capable scorer that was incredibly fun to watch. Winslow brought versatility on the defensive end, allowing Duke to use multiple lineups. He absolutely looks the part of an NBA star.

As the season went along, Winslow continued to impress, though there was some rocky patches prior to the tournament. Some may have believed it was Jahlil Okafor or Tyus Jones who were the most important part of the Duke Blue Devils National Championship run. But I believe it was Winslow, who contributed so much on both ends of the floor.

During his one season at Duke, Winslow averaged 12.6 points and 6.5 rebounds. His stats alone were not eye-popping by any means. His value came as a great two-way player. He was incredibly effective on the defensive end, guarding wings and post players. He showed the ability to handle the ball and help initiate the offense. He does a lot of the little things that help contribute to winning.

At the next level, Winslow has the potential to be a very good player. I’m not sure the comparisons to James Harden made by Jay Bilas or Dwyane Wade as Coach K thought are appropriate though. That said, those guys are much smarter than I will ever be. For me if Winslow pans out, he turns into Kawhi Leonard.

Winslow can be a lockdown defender, who fits well on a championship team. He will need to develop on the offensive end, much like Leonard did in San Antonio. But if given time, he could be a guy in 3 or 4 years we are talking about as a franchise building block.

Winslow’s NBA floor is Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. While Kidd-Gilchrist never became the player some thought he could be when the Bobcats now Hornets selected him, he is a nice rotation player. MKG hasn’t developed on the offensive end like some thought he might, but his defense is so good he stays in the rotation. Ideally Winslow goes to a situation where he has potential to become a great complimentary piece.

While Winslow is capable scorer, he is not an elite one. He can get to basket and can shoot the three at times, but it shouldn’t be a priority. His shooting percentage, primarily from the foul line is cause for concern. Winslow shot under 70% during his time at Duke.

He is only 19 years old and his offense will have plenty of time to develop. I worry that Winslow won’t be able to score as easily at the hoop as he did in college. Often times his size and physicality helped him finish at the rim.

Winslow is likely to go somewhere between where the Sacramento Kings pick at 6 and the Miami Heat at 10. The Heat seem like an ideal landing spot, especially if Wade and Goran Dragic return. Winslow could be a lockdown defender that can develop on the offensive end. It would also allow the Heat to let Luol Deng leave in free agency. They could use the money they would have used on Deng, to add depth to their bench.

With all the potential scenarios surrounding the Kings at the moment, who knows what Thursday could produce. I love the idea of Winslow coming to the Kings, just not at their current spot. If they somehow land a pick later in the lottery, such as 8 from Detroit or Phoenix at 13, i’d love to hear Winslow’s name called.