(Photo via Foxsports.com)
Our final evaluation in preparation for the 2015 NBA Draft is Duke swingman Justise Winslow.
2015 NBA Draft Prospect Evaluation: Justise Winslow
Written by Alex Lowe
Justise Winslow (19 years and 3 months old, Small Forward, Duke University via Houston, Texas)
Winslow is an average sized wing, both in height (6’7”) and length (6’10”) wingspan. But he’s more muscular than most 19-year-olds his size, and he uses all 225 pounds to his advantage on both offense and defense.
Winslow has only 5.3% body fat, a number more reminiscent of a decathlete than a basketball player. Not only is he stronger than most players he guards, but he’s usually tougher, and he’s willing to use that toughness to punish opponents. He doesn’t get overpowered in the post, and he’s quick enough to stay with the majority of perimeter players.
Winslow didn’t get much of an opportunity to run the offense until the tournament, which is when he really started to show just how dominant he can be. He’s not a great ball handler, but he sees the floor well and takes it from the arc to the rim as quick as any prospect in this draft. Sometimes his play looks a bit out of control, but more often than not, he’s slashing to the rim, causing defenders to crash and open up opportunities for his teammates.
If there’s a hole in Winslow’s game, it’s his passing. He’s not incompetent by any means, and he doesn’t turn the ball over often, we just didn’t see him facilitating enough to really evaluate his in-game passing skills. He only averaged 2.1 per game in his season at Duke. That’s due in large part to the other skilled facilitators on that team, but Winslow didn’t get as many assists as a player with his playmaking ability probably should.
Outside shooting ability:
Winslow’s outside shooting developed quite well over the season, and he hit some big-time shots in the tournament. He wasn’t a high-volume shooter from beyond the arc, but he did shoot 41%, which bodes well for him at least being useful from outside in the NBA. His free throw shooting wasn’t as good as you’d like, only 64%, but he has the mechanics to fix those problems from the line.
Ability to get own shot:
Excellent. Winslow is able to score in a variety of ways. At times he can be a wrecking ball, driving to the hoop like a bull running through a line of matadors, but at other times he’ll switch up speeds and find a way to score with either hands. His quick first step in any direction helps him lose defenders, despite not having the flashiest ball handling skills.
How he will score in the NBA:
Winslow is going to mostly be a slasher, using his aggressive nature to find ways to get the ball in the basket. Don’t be surprised to see him lower his shoulder and take on bigger players on his way to the rim. When he needs to, he can also become a spot up three-point shooter, likely hitting his fair share of corner 3s.
Defense is where Winslow has made himself a top prospect in this draft. He’s reminiscent of Draymond Green in his ability to guard every position on the floor. He won’t likely be marked up on centers too often, but it’s not going to be a hopeless mismatch if that’s what happens on a switch. He’s got fast hands that can lead to a lot of steals, and he’s tenacious enough to take on the top scorers in the league.
Basketball IQ and intangibles:
Winslow has a reputation for being a major gym rat, and it’s shown as he’s continually found ways to improve his game. At this point, the only real complaint that can be had about his intangibles is the tendency to be a bit inconsistent and lose focus. With the proper coaching and a few more years to mature, Winslow could turn out to be one of the best players in this draft class.
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Comparable NBA player:
– Written by Alex Lowe