Michigan State Spartans star guard Cassius Winston has a big decision to make in the near future. After a strong 2018-19 college season and superb play during the NCAA tournament thus far, Winston could opt to enter the 2019 NBA Draft. But Winston, who’s only a junior, doesn’t have to head to the league just yet, and that may prove to be the smarter decision.
The 6-foot junior guard has shown the ability to light up the scoreboard early and often in games and took a big step forward from year two to year three. Winston has posted strong marks across the board this year while increasing his scoring and assists, improving his NBA draft stock in the process.
The Michigan State guard has posted averages of 18.9 points, 7.6 assists and 3.0 rebounds per game while shooting a strong 46.7 percent from the field. Although his overall shooting percentage dropped a bit from last season, he’s attempting more than five additional shots per game.
His play has led to some chatter about Winston going pro, but there are some who believe he’d be better off playing one more year in college.
Argument Over Whether Cassius Winston Should Go Pro
Basketball Society’s Justin Kirkland made a solid point which others have also said about Winston, which is that he may not be drafted if he chooses to go to the NBA this season. With that said, Kirkland points out the belief that one more year at Michigan State could help him develop and make a push for the 2020 draft.
As of right now, I see Winston as a 4 year player for the Spartans. Physically, he is still not yet ready for the NBA and will likely take the full time for his body and mind to develop. This will only continue to allow his game to mature and showcase his talent for NBA scouts as he makes a run at the 2020 draft.
With that said, the other side of the argument has seen Winston’s draft stock increase throughout the NCAA tournament. The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie previously had Winston barely making his top-100 big board, but prior to the Final Four, he has him listed as the No. 55 overall prospect.
ESPN’s latest “best available” for the NBA draft also has Winston inside the top-100 but places him lower down the board at No. 87 overall. This is just behind Marquette’s Markus Howard, but ahead of Washington’s Jaylen Nowell.
Final Call: Should Cassius Winston Enter NBA Draft?
With strong pre-draft workouts, I think there’s a decent chance that the Michigan State star would be selected in the second round. With that said, opting to hold off for one more season and enter the 2020 NBA Draft could lead to him pushing up near the top of the second and possibly into the first.
It’s a tough call because Winston’s stock is incredibly high after this NCAA tournament run, and that could play a role in his decision. While he hasn’t addressed the situation just yet, it’s likely to be one of the first questions asked once Michigan State’s season wraps up.