2020 NBA Draft: Cassius Winston is a perfect fit for the Washington Wizards

BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA - JANUARY 23: Cassius Winston #5 of the Michigan State Spartans dribbles the ball against the Indiana Hoosiers at Assembly Hall on January 23, 2020 in Bloomington, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA - JANUARY 23: Cassius Winston #5 of the Michigan State Spartans dribbles the ball against the Indiana Hoosiers at Assembly Hall on January 23, 2020 in Bloomington, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

With the 53rd pick in the 2020 draft, Oklahoma City traded the rights to Cassius Winston to our Washington Wizards. The former Michigan State point guard is going to be a great fit in DC.

The 2020 NBA draft came and went, and boy, was it an interesting one. Strapped with two picks inside the top 40, the Washington Wizards had themselves a night!

After selecting Deni Avdija with the 9th overall pick, the Wizards weren’t done wheeling and dealing.

They ended their draft by sending the 37th pick (Vit Krejci) and Admiral Schofield to Oklahoma City in exchange for the 53rd pick (Cassius Winston) and a future second-rounder.

Now, obviously, most of the hype surrounding the Wizards draft will be about Deni Avdija, and deservedly so.

However, selecting Cassius Winston in the second round might be the perfect addition to this current Wizards team.

What the Washington Wizards got in Cassius Winston

Nobody expects Winston to go from second-round pick to instant all-star, but there is a lot to like about his game.

Winston is a quality scorer for a point guard, in particular from beyond the arc. He finished his college career as a 43 percent three-point shooter. During his sophomore season, he shot a blistering 50 percent from three. Winston is a solid mid-range shooter, too, and over the course of his college career, he developed a nice floater.

Outside of his shooting ability Winston is a great facilitator and thrives on getting his teammates involved. Winston averaged no less than 5 assists during each of his four college seasons and left Michigan State as the school’s all-time assist leader.

Winston has great court vision, a great feel for the game, and had one of the higher basketball IQs in college basketball last year.

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He is not the most athletic point guard, though, and his small frame — Winston measures 6’1 —  won’t help him on the defensive end. However, nothing about him and his defensive effort suggests he will be a liability on the defensive end. Winston’s heart will never be a question.

More than his shooting and ability to facilitate, Winston is a great leader. Winston is a proven winner, shown by his college resume, and everywhere you go, you will hear coaches a teammates rant and rave about Winston being such a great teammate. 

Winston showed at Michigan State that, game in and game out, he can be the glue that keeps a team together.

How does Cassius Winston fit with the Washington Wizards?

Cassius Winston enters a crowded backcourt in Washington. After signing Raul Neto on the second day of free agency, the Wizards now have four point guards on their roster for next season. Who knows how long that will last, though, now that John Wall reportedly wants out of Washington.

Winston will most likely be eased into NBA action and won’t be the team’s primary backup point guard right away. At best, he will be a third point guard who won’t get a lot of run to start.

However, if John Wall is still a Wizards when the 2020-21 season begins, we know they plan to limit his minutes during a condensed season. The Wizards will need as much point guard depth as they can get, and Winston’s high IQ and ability to lead an offense will be invaluable.

Ish Smith only has one year left on his contract, so Cassius Winston could be the guy to take over the backup point guard start once he leaves. With a team currently in a weird spot between competing for the playoffs and a potential rebuild, Winston could serve well in either scenario.

Final Thoughts on Cassius Winston

As we begin on this wild ride that is the 2020-21 NBA season, we will quickly see what is next for Cassius Winston. Bringing in another point guard to provide stability to a position that has lacked during the Wall era is smart. And if the Wall era is soon to be over, bringing in point guard depth is still smart.

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With a roster that is attempting to make another playoff push, drafting a four year established player is the right move in the second round.

Second-round picks are always tough to predict, but there is more potential for a higher floor with older upperclassmen players than younger guys who may need more time to figure things out. There is obviously no guarantee that Cassius Winston will be an immediate success for the Wizards, but finding Winston in the second round — a high character player with a polished game — was a steal.