Cassius
Winston
Position: PG
Height/Weight: 6-1 / 200 lbs
School/Club: Michigan State
Status: Senior
Birthday: 02/28/1998

DRAFT TRADE: Traded to Washington Wizards (along with a 2024 second-round pick) in exchange for Vit Krejci (No. 37 pick) and Admiral Schofield

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About Cassius Winston

Cassius Winston is a crafty lead guard who played the best basketball of his career over the last few months of his senior season and ranks as arguably the most battle tested player in the 2020 NBA Draft.  Widely regarded as one of the top-35 prospects in the high school class of 2016, Winston shined at the Jordan Brand Classic before carving out a rotation role off the bench for Head Coach Tom Izzo’s Michigan State Spartans as a true freshman.  Emerging as a starter as a sophomore but breaking out in a major way as a junior when he averaged 18.8 points and 7.5 assists per game to earn Consensus All-American 2nd Team honors, Winston lead the Spartans once again as a senior, albeit surrounded by a lot of new contributors.  Averaging 18.6 points and 5.9 assists per game, Winston fought through significant adversity early, but was tremendous down the stretch earning Consensus All-American 2nd Team honors once again.

  • Standing 6-foot-1 with a 200-pound frame and a 6-foot-5 wingspan, Winston has decent size for a point guard to go along with a knack for playing at different speeds and the craftiness to regularly make something out of nothing off the dribble.
     
  • A savvy, competitive player, Winston has carried the Spartans for long stretches of the last two seasons with his ability to create for others, put pressure on the defense with his advanced floor game, and run hot from beyond the arc.  An unselfish, talented floor general, few guards in recent memory have created as much offense for themselves and others with deception, footwork, and vision as the senior.  He regularly picked opposing defenses apart as an upperclassman.
     
  • Holding his own defensively more consistently than he did as a junior, Winston has good instincts and considerable big-game experience, but gives up quickness in some matchups.
     

Defensive Analysis

  • Possessing good length and instincts, Winston’s experience shows defensively.  Able to make some heady plays getting in the passing lanes and rotating to close out shooters, he held his own quite consistently as a senior.
     
  • At a quickness disadvantage in some matchups, Winston has managed those instances well to this point in his career.
     

Career Highlights

  • Two-time consensus All-America Second Team selection (2018-19 and 2019-20).
  • 2018-19 Big Ten Player of the Year as a junior.
  • Top-five finalist for the Wooden Award and top-10 for the Naismith Trophy for National Player of the Year in 2018-19.
  • Named Most Outstanding Player of the 2019 NCAA East Regional and the Big Ten Tournament.
  • Top-five finalist for the Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award as a junior and top-10 as a sophomore and senior.
  • One of four players in NCAA D-I history to record at least 1,900 points and 850 assists.


Senior (2019-20)

  • Ranked third in the Big Ten in scoring (18.6 ppg) and fourth in assists (5.9 apg).
  • All-Big Ten First Team pick by media and coaches.
  • Led the conference in three-point field goal percentage (43.2) and was second in threes per game (2.4).
  • Scored a career-high 32 points and added nine assists against Michigan (Jan. 5).
  • Finished with 27 points, six assists and four rebounds in a win over No. 19 Ohio State in his final college game (March 8).


Strengths

  • Tough, savvy point guard with great intangibles.
  • Sees the entire floor and is very unselfish.
  • Shoots with range and makes plays off the bounce.
  • Terrific feel for the game.


Personal

  • Graduated MSU in three years, earning a bachelor’s degree in advertising management in May 2019.
  • Honored his late brother, Zachary, who passed away in November 2019, with an imaginary handshake and shoulder bump before each tip-off.


Quotable

“The guy has been a giver since he got here. I said it his sophomore year in high school: He’s one of the best passers I’ve ever seen. And that continued and it continued to grow.”

-Michigan State coach Tom Izzo