Jahlil Okafor and Karl-Anthony Towns are virtual locks to go 1-2 – in some order – in Thursday’s NBA Draft. This we know.
But what about No. 3? Well, it just might be Duke prospect Justise Winslow.
Winslow, who helped the Blue Devils to the national championship this past season, has worked out for the 76ers, Knicks, Magic, Nuggets and Pistons. Those teams, as of now, are slotted between third and eighth in the draft.
Winslow, 19, is just taking it all in – or trying to, at least.
“No, it really hasn’t hit me yet,” Winslow said on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “It’s all surreal. I’m kind of just living in the moment, staying in the moment. But I think all those moments – the Final Four and all that – has really prepared me. But I’m sure on Thursday come draft night it’ll really sink it (that I’m going to the NBA).”
Asked if certain workouts went better than others, Winslow said no, adding, “I just always was feeling it.”
That confidence is what made Winslow arguably Duke’s best player in the tournament. His competitiveness was on point, too. Winslow apparently went at it with Michigan State prospect Branden Dawson during some of his team workouts.
“Playing against Brandon twice this year, I know what type of competitor he is,” Winslow said. “I know if I’m not ready to play, he’s definitely going to be ready. So coming in there, I just have a mental kind of mindset to be competitive and just play my game and do me. But I know if I try to take the day off, Branden will kill me. So you got to stay competitive in those type of situations and just be yourself.”
Winslow, a 6-6 southpaw who can shoot and drive with pretty much any prospect, has been compared to another lefty, James Harden. What, ultimately, does Winslow see himself as in a couple of years?
“I think I’ll be a 22-year-old Justise Winslow,” Winslow said. “But as far as who I play (like), I think guys like Jimmy Butler and Kawhi Leonard are similar in the sense that we’re guys that can impact the game on both ends of the floor. But for me, because I’m so versatile, I try to pull things from a lot of different guys. So Chris Paul, kind of the way he dribbles, D-Wade posting up, Kobe’s isolation game – it’s never one thing or one guy I try to really focus on. It’s just trying to pull different things from different guys and make it relate to my game and my style.”
One thing that is completely and entirely Winslow’s? His hairstyle. Winslow said he’s spent “a good amount of time” planning his look for Thursday night in New York.
“I definitely started it,” Winslow said of his hair. “It’s definitely something that people try to duplicate or mimic, but it’s really just untouchable, to be honest. I really don’t understand why people try to copy it because it’s so unique and special.”