Michigan State Basketball: Potential draft suitors for Cassius Winston, Xavier Tillman

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
Cassius Winston and Xavier Tillman, Michigan State basketball (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

Cassius Winston, PG, Senior

East Lansing continues to churn out excellent point guards from Magic Johnson to Scott Skiles, Eric Snow, Drew Neitzel, Kalin Lucas, Mateen Cleaves and now Cassius Winston.

Winston has the capability to excel as a professional. He’ll have the audition of a lifetime to run the show for an NBA franchise beginning in December. Something tells me his heart and perseverance coupled with all of the basketball tools in his bag won’t let him fail.

Here’s where he could land.

  • Thunder (25th and 53rd picks): The Thunder are sending Chris Paul to Phoenix. Ricky Rubio is not the long-term solution there nor is he the tremendous scorer that Winston is. Cassius would perfectly compliment rising phenom Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in OKC.
  • Raptors (29th): Fred VanVleet may chase a big contract in free agency and Winston could fill his role immediately. The Raptors have been extremely productive playing two point guards simultaneously. Winston and Kyle Lowry sharing the court would provide Nick Nurse with an abundance of offensive firepower to take some pressure off of all-star forward Pascal Siakam.
  • 76ers (21st, 34th, 36th, and 58th): Drafting Winston would allow Ben Simmons to slide over to the wing and find easy shots with an increased level of freedom to operate off the ball. Center Joel Embiid would appreciate the floor spacing Cassius would generate during half-court sets.
  • Knicks (27th and 38th): The Knicks need all the help they can get. If New York doesn’t miss with their eighth overall selection and brings Winston aboard, they have a chance to be competitive next season. RJ Barrett and Winston together would bring some excitement back to the Garden.
  • Mavericks (18th and 31st): Luka Doncic was superb last season but he wore down during the playoffs. He could benefit from having a sidekick as skilled as Winston. Trey Burke is not the answer in Dallas. Winston and Doncic would make for an electrifying duo.
  • Spurs (41st): Tony Parker is long-gone and Winston would be a terrific replacement for him in San Antonio. DeMar DeRozan and Cassius sharing the court together would be fun to watch.
  • Magic (45th): Winston would give Orlando a lethal inside-out combination by attacking defenses alongside the talented big Nikola Vucevic.
  • Pistons (7th): They could trade down to acquire additional picks or trade into the second round to steal Winston if enough teams pass on him. Winston would surely be thrilled if his hometown team brought him in to be Derrick Rose’s understudy. Rose only has one year left on his current deal and Detroit worked out Winston, which indicates that they’re definitely intrigued. The Pistons have a rich history of excellent lead guards. Isiah Thomas and Chauncey Billups shined in the Motor City. In a perfect scenario, Cassius would fall to Detroit and lead them back to glory.