Justise Winslow (Freshman, Duke, @chief_justise)
Small Forward/6’6/230/Age: 18
Product of…St. John’s (Houston, TX)
Quick Stats (as of February 24th):
11.9 points/game, 5.7 rebounds/game, 1.9 assists/game
Justise Winslow is as unique a prospect in recent memory. Sort of a Michael Kidd-Gilchrist meets Jimmy Butler, he makes a name for himself in almost every area on the court. With an imposing, NBA-ready body, Winslow is capable of stepping into anyone’s lineup, from day 1, and make an impact on both ends.
Heading into the season, scouts knocked Winslow’s poor shooting ability as a reason for concern. While he still has to prove he can knock down threes at the next level, he has shown vast improvements for Coach Mike Krzyzewski and the Blue Devils.
But his main impact is made as a slasher and perimeter defender. Winslow is fearless attacking the basket, both in transition and the half court. As shown versus North Carolina and Clemson, he can briefly take over games by pestering opponents, leading to fast break opportunities on the other end. Though his isolation scoring is still a work in progress, Winslow will be eventually become a dynamic force across the board.
-Ridiculously athletic, even by pro standards; NBA-ready physique
-Improving finisher around the basket, especially on the break; not afraid to absorb contact and go through defenders on the way to the rim; great mid-air control; will consistently get to the free throw line in the NBA
-Has shown the makings of a two-way star; excellent on ball defender whose athleticism leads way to deflections, steals and blocks; as a lefty, his offensive game is naturally unorthodox; nice slasher with an improving shot
-Can he consistently knock down NBA threes?; jumper is still iffy but has greatly improved over the course of the season (over 40% from college three)
-Good motor but needs to work on overall consistency and level of aggression; looks complacent at times; has great upside but does he have a star mentality?
-Alpha dog? Will likely be drafted to a lottery team lacking a great amount of talent; remains to be seen if he is ready to carry a franchise
D.O.G. Status: Winslow has star potential, mainly because of the intangibles he brings to the table. Commitment to defense, highly coachable, willing to learn…these are all areas rebuilding teams evaluate and look for going into the draft. At best, Winslow is a two-way star and at worst, he’s a “glue guy” for a championship team. Either way, he is worth taking a flier on high in the draft.
Justise will be an early Rookie of the Year favorite, with the potential to develop into a All-Star within 3 years.
NBA Comparison: Jimmy Butler