Justise Winslow: Where Does He Go?


The second Duke player off the Draft Board will likely be forward Justise Winslow. Generally speaking, Winslow should go in the top ten picks of the draft. He will not go in the first two picks where his teammate Jahlil Okafor and Kentucky’s Karl-Anthony Towns are expected to be taken.

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The two teams that draft next are the Philadelphia 76ers and the New York Knicks. The 76ers are supposedly leaning toward DeAngelo Russell from Ohio State. However the 76ers have needs is several places, so I would not rule out Winslow in that spot completely.

The Knicks, on the other hand, still have Carmelo Anthony. Winslow would not really give them anything new. So I think we can rule the Knicks out at four as a Winslow spot unless some trade has been brokered. So let’s look at the teams that might draft Winslow.

Pick 3 – Philadelphia 76ers

Winslow played a stretch four of sorts in college, but he is a pro small forward and nobody doubts that. He has shooting ability, though we do not exactly know what kind of perimeter defender he is since he was forced to battle in the post.

The 76ers have suppressed wins in order to get assets. As a result they have many young players. Their front court is set for now with Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid as the future, until the 76ers trade them.

Their current stock of small forwards is Jerami Grant and Luc Mbah a Moute, both of whom are more defensive guys. Winslow could them a more complete option at the position, but the same thing could be said of Russell and the point guard position.

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  • Pick 5 – Orlando Magic

    The Magic would seem to have a young core that they are building around. That would include Victor Oladipo, Elfrid Payton, and Nikola Vucevic. At the small forward is another player, Tobias Harris, that would seem to be a staple on the roster.

    The key here is new coach Scott Skiles. Skiles and Harris were together for a season when Skiles was the coach in Milwaukee. Harris barely played. For his part, Skiles has denied any sort of bad blood between the two. If that is just a public show, then the Magic might need to secure a forward before dealing Harris. That would be Winslow.

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    Pick 6 – Sacramento Kings

    The Kings are an interesting team in the six spot. They have three key injured players who should answer some of the questions the roster currently has. That would be Rudy Gay, DeMarcus Cousins, and Darren Collison. The Kings believe themselves to be a playoff team. In the Western Conference that has not been enough in recent seasons.

    The Kings will most likely look for the best player available. Unless they draft Willie Cauley-Stein, that player will not be a starter for them. Winslow would give them a solid sub for Gay, and insurance against injury which has been a problem for Gay.

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  • Pick 8 – Detroit Pistons

    What do you get with Caron Butler and Tayshaun Prince? A combined age of 70 at the small forward position. Detroit will be looking for an answer that is a little more long term than those two. Winslow would be a good fit for a team with a young nucleus. This might be the best fit of any of the possibilities listed above.

    That brings us to the end of the top ten. Winslow will not fall below Utah at twelve.

    Is Charlotte an option at Nine? Possibly. The Hornets do need perimeter shooting, but neither Winslow nor Michael Kidd-Gilchrist are a natural fit for the two spot. They would have to co-exist on offense, but could possibly make spacing troubles worse. On defense, Kidd-Gilchrist could be given the more difficult cover.

    Tomorrow we will look at the last of the Duke triumvirate with Tyus Jones.

    Next: Jahlil Okafor: Lakers Over T-Wolves