Justise Winslow taken 10th by Miami Heat


Duke forward Justise Winslow was taken with the tenth pick of the 2015 NBA Draft by the Miami Heat. Winslow was the second Duke player selected in the first round of three players. He also was the second Duke player taken in the lottery.

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Winslow came into the draft like Okafor did, with a top five draft grade. However, unlike Okafor, Winslow played the small forward position where different teams were looking for different things. Winslow ended up being the third player taken at that positon behind Croatia’s Mario Hezonja and Arizona’s Stanley Johnson.

The difference between Winslow and the two players taken in front of him were taken in front of him was one of role. Hezonja is more of an offensive talent. Johnson has the potential to be an elite defender.

Winslow did not really have a specialty like that. He could several things well, but no thing great. Overall he might be the better player of the three, but the other two players would take less figuring out.

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Don’t expect Pat Riley to be upset about it though. Riley is looking to bolster a Heat team that was sabotaged by Chris Bosh’s unexpected injury. He needed a player who could play with Dwyane Wade if Wade came back, but he also needed someone who could help fill the gap if Wade left.

Justise Winslow, as a potential swingman, does both those things. On a Heat roster that still includes Wade, Winslow can be the sixth man. He can spell Wade or he can spell fellow Duke forward Luol Deng. He could guard the harder cover when paired with Wade, so that Wade can be preserved.

If Wade leaves in free agency, then Winslow becomes the first guy to get a crack at filling his spot. The Heat of course want Wade to stick around so they can pair him with point guard Goran Dragic (who also needs to be re-signed). Either way, Winslow is going to a team that has talent. They just need everyone on the court.

Next: Jahlil Okafor goes 3rd to 76ers