Duke’s Justise Winslow has been taken with the 10th overall pick by the Miami Heat in the 2015 NBA Draft. Winslow wasn’t expected to slide this far, and this is a steal of a pick for Pat Riley in Miami.
Winslow was the beneficiary of a position change midseason, where he was able to use his ability off the dribble to dominate opposing power forwards in college. In the NBA, he’ll play a Jimmy Butler-esque roll as a bigger wing player, which will take some adjustment at first.
Winslow is a do-it-all type talent without many weaknesses, improving upon his jump shot (41.8 percent from three at Duke) during the course of the season to complement an off-the-dribble game. Winslow is a lockdown defender on the other end, where he used his length and strength to average 1.3 steals per game and 0.9 blocks on the year.
Winslow will fit into the wide-open NBA instantly as an off-the-ball threat who doesn’t need plays run for him. He uses his athleticism to get out in transition and attack the glass where he grabbed 6.5 rebounds per game. It’ll be a bit of transition getting used to playing on the perimeter full-time for Winslow in the NBA, but he should make it somewhat smooth if his three-point shooting success translates from college.
Overall, Winslow looks like a prototype swingman for the next level. Winslow has elite athletic ability and versatility to be a lockdown defender and threat on the perimeter. He’ll need to improve his free throw percentage (64.1 percent) to maximize his potential, but the tools and skills are there for Winslow to become an All-Star in time.
NBA comparison: Jimmy Butler
2014-15 stats: 12.6 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 2.1 apg, 1.3 spg (48.6 FG%, 41.3 3P%, 64.1 FT%)