Justise Winslow – F, Duke
Size: 6-foot-6, 220 pounds
2014-15 freshman year stats: 12.6 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.1 assist, 1.3 steals, 0.9 blocks, 1.8 turnovers in 29.1 minutes (39 games).
Why he fits
Winslow’s presence makes any team better. The 19-year-old is an avid basketball junkie and his wise decisions on the court prove it. Whether it’s playing help defense, making the extra pass or initiating the break, Winslow’s intuition is beyond his years.
A power forward in college projected to be a three in the pros, Winslow can knock down set shots from outside or use his burst and quick feet to drive to the hoop. He’s armed with a few finesse moves in the post and has no issues sharing the rock, which is music to Sacramento’s ears.
Perhaps most vital, Winslow is a lockdown defender who can guard perimeter scorers and block shots in the paint. If the Kings part ways with Omri Casspi and Derrick Williams, the Blue Devil is an enticing option.
Why he doesn’t fit
At Duke, Winslow exposed slower defenders at the four. At 6-foot-6, playing regular minutes at the position seems like misplaced optimism. The tweener possesses the attributes to become a successful NBA three, yet Rudy Gay stands in his path. Gay showed near the end of the season that he is more than capable of playing power forward, but whether George Karl is keen to the idea long-term remains to be seen. Nonetheless, drafting Winslow would force the coach’s hand.
Winslow’s continued scoring output from downtown is no guarantee either. He’s wasn’t a deep shooter before college, and his mechanics still need fine tuning.
With bigger needs on the roster, Winslow’s addition would almost seem misguided. Investing the sixth overall pick on a perimeter stopper and questionable scorer may be too high a cost.
Likelihood he’s available
Decent. While Winslow is widely regarded as the top American small forward, general managers could be torn between his polish and Croatian Mario Hezonja’s upside. All five clubs drafting ahead of the Kings need help on the wing, but a top-heavy crop of big men and guards may leave Winslow untouched by No. 6.