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NBA Draft 2015 Scouting Profile: Justise Winslow

A versatile defender with an improved offensive game, Duke's Justise Winslow doesn't represent the biggest positional need for the Kings but would add much with his basketball IQ and competitiveness.

Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Justise Winslow

NBA Position: SG/SF

General Information: 19 year old Freshman, played at Duke. From Houston, Texas.

Measurables: 6'6.5", 222 lbs, 6'10.25″ wingspan, 8'8.5″ standing reach

2013-14 Season Statistics: 12.9 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 2.1 APG, 1.3 SPG, .9 BPG, 1.8 TOPG (29.1 minutes per contest) - 48.6% FG, 64.1% FT, 41.8% 3P, 57.2% TS

Summary: After coming into his freshman year as a tough competitor with exceptional defensive skills and awareness, Winslow showed significant offensive growth over the season for Duke. His mid-range game is still inconsistent, but he's got a wide-range of skills and should become the classes' premier role player.

Offensive Breakdown:

Winslow is a tad shorter than you'd like for a NBA small forward, but he makes up for it with his excellent strength, high basketball-IQ and tough play. He can outmuscle smaller guards, and still has the quickness to get by bigger forwards when attacking the basket. He had good success around the basket—43% of his shots were at the rim, and he connected on 66.7% of them. He has good handles, and showed an ability to read defenders with a solid collection of jukes and pump-fakes. His improved shooting ability made opponents respect his fakes at the three-point line, and Winslow learned to take advantage of it. He doesn't have elite-level quickness nor an explosive first step, but it's certainly not a weakness for him, and he more than makes up for it with his upper body strength and a willingness to absorb contact.

While he had zero reputation as a shooter entering Duke, Winslow finished the year shooting 41.1% on 111 attempts. He's still working on consistency in his shooting motion, and he'll likely see that percentage regresses immediately into his NBA career, but the massive improvement is a great sign of his dedication. His mid-range game still needs work—he shot 26.9% on 2-point jumpers, according to, and his free throw success was a poor 64.1%. He's also much more of a set/catch-and-shoot player, and when he tries to create his shot off the dribble, he's far less successful.

While he shouldn't be asked to run an offense, Winslow did show off a willingness as a passer and did handle the ball a decent amount in Duke's offense. His 2.1 APG and 13.2% assist rate are behind just Justin Anderson from Virginia and RJ Hunter of Georgia State in terms of 1st Round wing prospects.

Winslow will present his NBA squad with a versatile offensive weapon, but his long-term potential is in question. He did everything Duke asked him to do—he was a danger from three and a threat to attack the basket, and could handle the ball to give PG Tyus Jones some off-ball time—but he wasn't asked to fully carry the offense. He could continue to develop his all-around offensive game, but his solid handles and slashing game won't be as big a threat in the pros. It'll be interesting to see if he can develop his one-on-one game to a level where he could become a top offensive option, but for now he is a solid and well-rounded offensive role player.

Defensive Breakdown:

Winslow's best trait is his NBA ready defense. He doesn't have picture perfect size, but makes up for it with everything else you'd want in an elite defensive prospect. He was strong enough to handle any collegiate SF (and some PFs) and quick enough to handle most guards. In the NBA, his defensive range will shrink some, but he'll still possess the quickness and strength to guard a majority of SG/SFs and some PGs and PFs. His pick-and-roll defense is great; he outmuscled screens and fights to stick with his man, but when he does have to accept the switch he's strong enough that the screening bigs won't be able to find a mismatch inside. He's also got good ball-hawk instincts and is a capable help-defender, finishing with 1.8 steals and 1.2 blocks per 40 minutes. He wasn't afraid to stand up to big matchups and plays defense with a passion.

Another strength was Winslow's ability and willingness to fight for rebounds—6.5 a contest, a 19.8% defensive rebounding rate, and a 13.1% total rebounding rate. This won't translate as smoothly into the NBA, but it still speaks to his total skill package.


Winslow is one of the more visually competitive players in the class, and showed massive improvement at Duke. Entering the year, he was a great defender with a broken shot—now he's a great defender who shot 41.1% from three on 111 makes. He still has a ways to go offensively, but it's hard not to see the long-term appeal; gym rat, versatile defender, and an NCAA Champion. Jahlil Okafor and Tyus Jones got a majority of the headlines after Duke's championship, but Winslow was the team's glue on both ends of the court. I expect him to be a visual leader wherever he ends up.

Winslow has been getting compared to guys like Kawhi Leonard and Jimmy Butler, and while I don't know that Winslow will ever become the offensive threats either of those players are, neither Leonard or Butler were big time scoring threats coming out of college. Physically, he's comparable to Lance Stephenson, or a stronger version of Andre Iguadola in 2004—he won't be present a massively intimidating defensive figure, but there's no worry that he will be able to handle himself against NBA forwards.

Fit with Sacramento:

Winslow may not represent the biggest positional need for the Kings, but when you consider Sacramento's biggest on-the-court needs—defense, three-point shooting, basketball IQ, youth leadership—he checks all those boxes and more. The Kings organization has talked about "positionless basketball", and Winslow would be a great addition to that. He's a versatile defender, and his balanced offense means he could slide in along Ben McLemore, Nik Stauskas, and Rudy Gay as needed without creating offensive redundancy. Winslow worked hard to fit in and lead the team at Duke, and it's hard to imagine George Karl couldn't find multiple ways to use him on both ends of the court. Sacramento certainly needs tough, selfless players like Winslow to help implement the culture change the organization talks about.

As always, check Winslow's breakdown by DraftExpress.