The loudest roars on Draft Night were for D’Angelo Russell (Los Angeles Lakers), Kristaps Porzingis (New York Knicks) and Justise Winslow (Miami Heat). But the happiest man that night must have been Pat Riley, President of the Miami Heat. Winslow was projected to a be a Top 5-7 pick so for him to drop to number 10 was pure elation for the Miami Heat.

Not only is Winslow NBA ready, but for a reloading Heat team their biggest need is at small forward.

Winslow possess a ‘swiss army knife’ like game similar to Lamar Odom, where he can do numerous things well. Coming off the bench for Luol Deng, Winslow can shoot the outside shot, but has the luxury of not being dependent on scoring to contribute. At Duke University, he rebounded well and could lead the break by himself. In Miami he’ll have the opportunity to do the same as well as play some point forward where he can take bigger defenders to the paint or shoot over smaller ones.

He also is very aggressive on defense so he’ll hound offensive players and box them out once they take a shot. What the Heat lack, Winslow provides: an athletic wing player. If Deng gets injured or Winslow raises his game it won’t be long before he’s inserted into the starting lineup. With Dwayne Wade drawing attention, Winslow should be open to shoot and he’ll be a recipient of Goran Dragic’s assists too.

Since the Heat are thin at power forward, Winslow can play the 4 in a small lineup where he can stretch the defense with Hassan Whiteside clogging the middle. Most NBA players are selected for their specialties, but Winslow is unique because his biggest strength is his versatility. Winslow’s been compared to Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler and Grant Hill, yet his upside could surpass those mentioned once his career is done.

It’s hard to predict how potential will pan out, but Winslow has the opportunity to be the best rookie in this class. Luck is needed to win and the Miami Heat may have found the perfect fit to contend in the East if Justise Winslow becomes the player most experts expect him to be.

About The Author

Author, blogger, speaker & die-hard Lakers fan

Leave a Reply