Michigan State Basketball: Evaluating NBA potential for Spartan prospects

Cassius Winston and Xavier Tillman, Michigan State basketball (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Cassius Winston and Xavier Tillman, Michigan State basketball (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
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Michigan State basketball
Rocket Watts, Michigan State basketball (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) /

Now that we’ve looked at the players who have put their names in, let’s take a look at players who could potentially enter next year’s NBA draft. Rocket Watts is the most obvious name that comes up. An effortless scorer at a raw age, his sophomore season is crucial for determining if he can play the point guard position.

It’s unknown if he will actually move to that position for Tom Izzo, but it’s more than likely the only position he’ll be able to play at the next level.

Watts’ offensive game is obviously his most attractive feature to NBA scouts, as he has a natural instinct for scoring the basketball from anywhere on the floor. Only 9.0 points per game doesn’t jump off the stat sheet, but that was only due to his slow start. He ended the year strong, putting up two games with 21 points, as well as games with 19 against Ohio State and 18 against Penn State.

Rocket can score in a multitude of ways. He can get to the rim, he has a nice floater, he can stop on a dime and pull up, and he can knock down the 3-ball. He moves well with the ball in his hand with a tight handle and the ability to get himself open. His jab step blows defenders away. Watts isn’t hurting for scoring.

The question becomes can he be the primary ball handler/playmaker for the offense? That’s yet to be seen, but when he was running the offense with Cassius Winston out of the game, he was facilitating rather well. It seems like he will be the starting point guard this year, and it also seems like the transition to that position won’t be difficult for him.

Watts will most likely enter his name in the 2021 draft, and if he shows that he can be a good point guard, he could hear his name called early on draft night.