Wednesday, June 24, 2015

2015 NBA Draft: Top 10 Prospects — Justise Winslow

#7 Justise Winslow — 6'6" 225 lbs | 19-yrs-old | Forward | Freshman | Duke

Bio: Often overshadowed by Jahlil Okafor and Tyus Jones,  was nevertheless critical to Duke’s national championship run last season. The son of former second-round pick Rickie Winslow—who only played in seven NBA games—Justise came to Durham with an NBA-ready body and a skill set that would complement his blue-chip teammates. He quickly became known for his end-to-end speed and was a highlight-reel-in-the-making anytime he touched the ball in transition. He isn’t the most polished player in the draft, but he’ll be able to help teams from Day One and could develop into an All-Star.
Justise Winslow [Upside: James Harden -vs- Downside: Evan Turner/Derrick Williams]

Strengths: Winslow’s biggest strength is his prowess in transition. Although he at times appears out of control, he has terrific vision, feel and control. According to Synergy Sports, he averaged 1.156 points per possession on transition plays, the highest of any offensive category. His athleticism is also on display defensively, where he can meet the challenge of defending NBA wings—perhaps the biggest hurdle most young players must overcome to play the 3 position professionally. He was forced to defend power forwards often during his time at Duke and can stand up for himself in the paint; but he’s more of a threat on the perimeter, where his lateral quickness is a big asset. He is also a winner—he was on three state championship teams in high school and won a national title at Duke.
Weaknesses: Although he has the potential to transition to a wing role in the NBA, he primarily played power forward for the Blue Devils last season. To improve offensively, he needs to work on ball-handling in half-court sets and build a consistent jumper. Although he shot 41.8% from three-point range, he managed just 64.1% from the stripe. After playing on an elite college basketball team, many will wonder if Winslow can carry a team by himself or if he is better suited as a valuable role player.
NBA comparison: Kawhi Leonard Sports Illustrated 

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