Cassius Winston is a 6’0 185 pound PG from Michigan State University. Now this isn’t your ordinary draft profile, I will be giving you strengths and weaknesses AND some info about this humbled young man. Firstly, his height is one of the main reasons why he’s an automatic underdog. But guys like Isiah Thomas, Spud Webb, and others have shown you can be very successful despite the height. If Cassius gets picked in the 1st round like he’s projected, he’ll be the first player since Shane Larkin in 2013 to be picked at 6 foot or under to be picked in the first round. This young man has been through a lot because of his loss of his very close brother, now I won’t get into the specifics of it but just know Cassius and his brother were literally best friends and they were very close. But he fought through adversity and played against Binghamton after his brother’s tragic death and put up 17 points and 11 assists. This shows this man’s heart, this shows his passion, he’ll fight through any obstacle in his way to becoming a great player. He finished his Senior year averaging 18.6 PPG, 5.9 APG, shooting 45% from the field and 43% from downtown. Now let’s get into his strengths and weaknesses.
Strengths: “Why would my team pick a guy who’s the size of my 15 year old?” Cassius might have the highest basketball IQ in this draft, he’s very smart on and off the court. He strives in the PnR, that’s where he’s most effective. His vision and passing ability combined with his shooting ability makes him a threat in the PnR. He just makes the simple plays, he doesn’t make anything too complicated for him and his teammates. His passing opens up a lot of opportunities for the offense to move, he knows how to handle a top offense and he knows how to lead a team. Cassius has played with a couple of NBA players already over his 4 years at Michigan State, which also means he’s played again a lot of NBA competition already. Cassius is not the most explosive player but he is very shifty with his handles and uses them wisely. He really likes his stepback to use to shoot out of it or to use it to attack the rim. Winston is a very good shooter, one of the best shooting guards in the class. He has range when he’s in catch and shoot situations, and he knows how to get open off the ball. My comparison for Cassius is Kyle Lowry because they are both 6’0 and they both aren’t the most explosive but can lead an offensive and control the game. I could see Cassius Winston leading an NBA offense as a starter if given the chance.
Weaknesses: Now obviously one of his main weaknesses is his height and strength. Now since we got the things he really can’t control, let’s get into the things he can improve on. Now Cassius isn’t the best defensive player ever but could definitely be improved. Not a great team defender because of his height, he cannot be switched onto a bigger guard or forward. He cannot close out that great but really cannot impact a shot like Saddiq Bey can. As shown by multiple big time games, Cassius when facing a guard who is drive heavy they will most likely succeed. Most explosive guards will blow by Cassius and then use their height for advantage. Cassius lacks finishing ability over guys with better length, he lacks vertical to finish over big guys.
Verdict: All of Cassius’ weaknesses are because of his height, but besides that he’s a great all around player that will bring 110% every single day. If Cassius is ever given the opportunity like Isiah Thomas did on the Celtics, Cassius might be the steal of this draft and become a very good all around PG for a contending team because he’s projected around 25-30.