Cassius Winston joins Wizards ready to work

In what was widely regarded as one of the steals of the 2020 NBA Draft, the Wizards were able to acquire the draft rights to Michigan State guard Cassius Winston in a trade during Wednesday’s draft.

The Wizards received Winston’s rights and the Grizzlies’ 2024 second round pick (via Oklahoma City) from the Thunder in exchange for the rights to Vit Krejci and Admiral Schofield.

One of the top players in college basketball during his four seasons, Winston averaged 18.6 points and 5.9 assists per game as a senior and 18.8 points and 7.5 assists per game as a junior at Michigan State. He is one of four players in NCAA D-I history to record at least 1,900 points and 850 assists and finished his career with 894 assists, the most in Big Ten and Michigan State history, while leading the Spartans to the 2019 Final Four.

“Everybody in my family is extremely excited. We’ve all been putting in work. We’ve all been grinding for an extremely long time for this moment right here.”

“Cassius has a proven resume and is a tremendous leader whose tough, unselfish style will allow him to develop within our system,” Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard said in the team’s release on Thursday.

The 6’1”, 205-pound point guard will have a chance to earn minutes, adding depth to the point guard position. Winston, who also shot 43.2% from 3-point on 5.6 attempts per game in his senior season, is an established playmaking and scoring threat who will get a crack at NBA minutes right away.

“I think the Wizards are a hard-working, hard-playing team that wants to win,” Winston said. “They want to compete with the best."

Winston, like all rookies, will have a quick turnaround to get to D.C. before training camp starts in the coming weeks. The Detroit native plans to head east to Washington next week, where he will begin individual workouts and ramp up for the season.

One of Winston’s biggest college games ironically came at Capital One Arena, when he scored 20 points and dished out 10 assists in a win over Duke. That victory claimed a Final Four berth for Winston and the Spartans against an iconic Blue Devils team featuring now Pelicans forward Zion Williamson.

“That’s probably one of the games that got me here at this point anyway,” Winston recalled. “Just to go back there – I love D.C. I love the city.”

Now, a year and a half later, Winston is heading to the nation’s capital.

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