Just one day remains until the NBA Draft. Justise Winslow is one of out final athletes on our InsideTheACC NBA Draft Profile series. This well-rounded player helped lead Duke to a championship this past season, and is looking to make a splash in the NBA next season. Let’s breakdown his game.
SF Justise Winslow, Duke
- Age 19
- 6’7″ 220 lbs.
- Wingspan: 6′ 10 1/4″
- Standing Reach: 8′ 8 1/2″
Justise Winslow is going to be a Top 10 pick in this year’s NBA Draft because he does just about everything well. Winslow was the most well-rounded player for Duke’s championship team this year, meshing his excellent offensive output with his sound defensive ability. On the offensive side, Winslow averaged 12.6 points on an impressive 49% shooting, while rebounding at an impressive clip of 6.5 rebounds per game. Winslow also managed to shoot 41% from beyond the arc, but was disappointing from the free throw line, as he only made 64% of his attempts. While Winslow uses his athleticism to slash through lanes and explode to the rim, his pull-up jumper can improve, because he sometimes gets going to quickly and loses handle of the ball. As he improves his dribbling and rhythm, there is no reason to believe that this part of his game couldn’t become as fluid as the rest of his game seems to be at this point in time.
Additionally, Winslow was able to excel against much smaller defenders, as he uses every inch of his frame to his advantage. Whether it be through the post game or simply driving by a smaller defender and using his body to seal off his man before getting to the rim, Winslow showed his natural offensive prowess time and time again. He will be a bit undersized at small forward in the pros, so he may not be able to back down smaller defenders like he did at times in college. However, he has a good enough offensive game at this time that he should be able to adjust relatively easily to the professional level.
Defensively, Winslow does a great job at staying in front of his man, using his length to alter shots and make life difficult on the players who he is guarding. If he gets beaten off the dribble, he does a great job recovering, and is still able to impact that shot in one way or another. The only obvious weakness that Winslow shows on defense is an effort issue on close outs. When Winslow’s man gets open for a shot, he sometimes gets lazy when running out and getting a hand in the shooter’s face, leading to more makes against him than there should be. As long as Winslow realizes that he cannot get away with that type of play, I don’t foresee it being a huge issue in the NBA.
As currently constituted, other than him perhaps being a bit undersized in spots in the NBA, you have to nitpick to find issues with Justise Winslow’s game. He will be a top ten pick on Thursday night, and should provide a reliable wing option for years to come.
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