Cassius Winston

Wizards Sign Cassius Winston To Two-Way Contract

12:42pm: It’s a one-year contract, according to The Athletic’s Fred Katz (Twitter link).

7:31 am: The Wizards have signed former Michigan State point guard Cassius Winston to his first NBA contract, inking him to a two-way deal, according to the league’s official transactions log.

Winston, who spent a full four-year college career with the Spartans, is coming off a 2019/20 season in which he averaged 18.6 PPG, 5.9 APG, and 2.5 RPG with a shooting line of .448/.432/.852 in 30 games (32.7 MPG).

The No. 53 overall pick in the 2020 draft, Winston was technically selected by Oklahoma City, but was sent to Washington in a draft-night trade.

Winston will join guard Garrison Mathews to fill the Wizards’ two-way contract slots, as our tracker shows.

Thunder Acquire Schofield, Second-Rounder Krejci From Wizards

NOVEMBER 19: The Thunder also acquired Admiral Schofield from Washington in the deal, which is now official, according to a tweet from the Wizards.


NOVEMBER 18: The Wizards selected guard Vit Krejci with the No. 37 but they’re trading him to the Thunder, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets. Washington will receive the No. 53 pick in this draft plus additional compensation, Ben Standig of The Athletic tweets.

The Wizards used that pick on Michigan State point guard Cassius Winston. Winston led the Spartans to the Final Four as a junior and averaged 18.6 PPG and 5.9 APG as a senior.

The additional competition will be a future second-rounder, David Aldridge of The Athletic tweets.

Krejci of the Czech Republic won’t be able to play in the NBA in the near future. While playing for the Spanish team Casademont Zaragoza, the 20-year-old Krejci suffered an ACL injury that required surgery in early October. He’s a member of the Czech Republic national team and projects as a 6’8” combo guard.

Central Notes: Winston, Pistons, McConnell, Avdija

Pistons general manager Troy Weaver is bullish on the NBA potential of second-round 2020 draft prospect Cassius Winston, a Michigan State guard, per Rod Beard of The Detroit News“I’ve watched him throughout his career and I’ve been a big fan and hoping for the best,” Weaver said. “I think he has the spirit, that he’ll fight his way in, whether he gets drafted or not. I think he will give himself a great chance.”

Beard notes that Winston does not project to be a lottery pick, but could be drafted late in the first round on November 18. The Pistons currently own the No. 7 pick, but are among the several teams that could benefit from trading back.

There’s more out of the Central Division:

  • Omari Sankofa II of the Detroit Free Press assesses five bargain free agents the Pistons could target using their room exception, including Kings center Harry Giles, Pacers shooting guard Justin Holiday, and veteran Magic point guard D.J. Augustin.
  • Pacers backup point guard T.J. McConnell is on a $3.5MM non-guaranteed contract for the 2020/21 season. J Michael of the Indy Star posits that McConnell could remain a useful, cost-effective role player on what could be a feisty Indiana team. Alternately, the Pacers could buy McConnell out for $1MM to open up his spot on the roster.
  • As we relayed earlier, 6’7″ swingman Deni Avdija is rumored to be a potential draft target for the Bulls with the fourth pick in this year’s draft.

Draft Notes: Ball, Edwards, Maxey, Yurtseven, More

LaMelo Ball, a candidate to be the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft, reportedly met virtually with New York and Golden State earlier in the year and had an in-person visit with the Timberwolves this week. He’s also expected to meet with the Hornets, Bulls, and Warriors (again) next week.

While Ball has been getting familiar with the teams at the very top of the draft, Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer said during an appearance on Sports Radio WFNZ this week that he has heard from multiple sources that Ball “is not performing very well at job interviews.”

“He is not improving his perception via job interview,” Bonnell said, per Dan Feldman of NBC Sports. “There are people drafting later in the top ten who were not preparing for the possibility of Ball still being around. And I’m not saying that he will not be a top-three pick. I am saying that I know for a fact that there are teams later in the top ten who are doing more research on him, because they no longer think it’s a given he will.”

With the 2020 NBA draft less than three weeks away, we’re knee-deep in smokescreen season, so it’s difficult to know how seriously to take reports like these. Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic dug into the “art of subterfuge” in a new article, noting that the Timberwolves and Warriors – both of whom are said to be interested in trading down – are taking different approaches during the pre-draft process.

While Golden State has been rumored to have real interest in over a half-dozen prospects, Minnesota has been very tight-lipped about the No. 1 pick. In each case, teams that might be interested in trading up haven’t been able to get a clear sense of whether or not the Wolves or Warriors will take the player they want.

Here’s more on the draft:

  • NBA scouts and executives weren’t allowed to be in the gym for the televised Pro Day for Anthony Edwards and Tyrese Maxey on Thursday, as Marc Berman of The New York Post writes. A source tells Berman that some agents were unhappy with the setup, feeling as if it was “unwarranted exposure” for Rich Paul‘s clients. The Knicks were among the teams watching the event on TV, Berman adds.
  • Former Georgetown big man Omer Yurtseven has had virtual meetings with 19 teams, he told Keith Smith of RealGM. However, he’s disappointed he hasn’t got a chance to conduct in-person workouts for all those clubs. “It’s been tough to not be able to work out directly for teams,” Yurtseven said. “I’ve spent a lot of time working on my lateral quickness. I know I needed to be quicker to play in the NBA. I worked on that a lot and can’t wait to show teams.”
  • Eamonn Brennan of The Athletic identifies five prospects he thinks are sleepers in the 2020 draft, including Kansas center Udoka Azubuike, Michigan State guard Cassius Winston, and Charleston guard Grant Riller.

LaMelo Ball Headlines List Of Draft Combine Participants

Potential No. 1 overall pick LaMelo Ball will be among the prospects participating in the revamped virtual draft combine this week, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. Ball is scheduled to take part in team interviews and a media session this week, but may not participate in any other portion, Jeremy Woo of SI.com cautions (via Twitter).

While Ball’s participation might be limited, many of this year’s other top prospects aren’t taking part in the event at all. As Woo points out (via Twitter), Anthony Edwards, James Wiseman, Obi Toppin, Onyeka Okongwu, Cole Anthony, Aaron Nesmith, Devin Vassell, and Saddiq Bey are among the players who don’t appear on the list of participants sent out by the NBA.

The list of top prospects besides Ball who will be participating in the event includes Precious Achiuwa, Deni Avdija, Tyrese Haliburton, RJ Hampton, Killian Hayes, Theo Maledon, and Isaac Okoro, among others.

Here’s the full list of combine participants, via Charania:

  1. Precious Achiuwa, F, Memphis
  2. Ty-Shon Alexander, G, Creighton
  3. Deni Avdija, F, Maccabi Tel Aviv (Israel)
  4. Udoka Azubuike, C, Kansas
  5. LaMelo Ball, G, Illawarra Hawks (Australia)
  6. Desmond Bane, G, TCU
  7. Tyler Bey, F, Colorado
  8. Vernon Carey Jr., C, Duke
  9. Yoeli Childs, F, BYU
  10. Mamadi Diakite, F, Virginia
  11. Devon Dotson, G, Kansas
  12. Paul Eboua, F, VL Pesaro (Italy)
  13. CJ Elleby, F, Washington State
  14. Malachi Flynn, G, San Diego State
  15. Trent Forrest, G, Florida State
  16. Josh Green, G/F, Arizona
  17. Ashton Hagans, G, Kentucky
  18. Tyrese Haliburton, G, Iowa State
  19. Josh Hall, F, Moravian Prep
  20. RJ Hampton, G, New Zealand Breakers (New Zealand)
  21. Jalen Harris, G, Nevada
  22. Killian Hayes, G, Ratiopharm Ulm (Germany)
  23. Markus Howard, G, Marquette
  24. Elijah Hughes, G/F, Syracuse
  25. Isaiah Joe, G, Arkansas
  26. Mason Jones, G, Arkansas
  27. Tre Jones, G, Duke
  28. Nathan Knight, F/C, William & Mary
  29. Kira Lewis, G, Alabama
  30. Theo Maledon, G, ASVEL (France)
  31. Karim Mane, G, Vanier College (Canada)
  32. Nico Mannion, G, Arizona
  33. Naji Marshall, F, Xavier
  34. Kenyon Martin Jr., F, IMG Academy
  35. Skylar Mays, G, LSU
  36. Jaden McDaniels, F, Washington
  37. Sam Merrill, G, Utah State
  38. Zeke Nnaji, F, Arizona
  39. Jordan Nwora, F, Louisville
  40. Isaac Okoro, F, Auburn
  41. Daniel Oturu, C, Minnesota
  42. Reggie Perry, F, Mississippi State
  43. Myles Powell, G, Seton Hall
  44. Payton Pritchard, G, Oregon
  45. Immanuel Quickley, G, Kentucky
  46. Jahmi’us Ramsey, G, Texas Tech
  47. Paul Reed, F, DePaul
  48. Nick Richards, F/C, Kentucky
  49. Grant Riller, G, Charleston
  50. Jay Scrubb, G, John A. Logan College
  51. Jalen Smith, F, Maryland
  52. Cassius Stanley, G, Duke
  53. Lamar Stevens, F, Penn State
  54. Isaiah Stewart, F/C, Washington
  55. Tyrell Terry, G, Stanford
  56. Xavier Tillman, F/C, Michigan State
  57. Kaleb Wesson, F/C, Ohio State
  58. Kahlil Whitney, F, Kentucky
  59. Cassius Winston, G, Michigan State
  60. Robert Woodard II, F, Mississippi State

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the NBA is unable to hold its typical in-person draft combine this year, but the league has put together an alternative combine that will feature interviews through videoconferencing as well as the making of “pro day” videos, which will include strength and agility testing, anthropometric measurements, and shooting drills. Participants will also undergo medical testing and exams.

For more details on this year’s combine, be sure to check out our full story on the changes.

Eastern Notes: Hampton, Donovan, Hornets, Wizards

2020 NBA draft prospect R.J. Hampton interviewed with Pistons general manager Troy Weaver a month ago, according to Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press.

Hampton, who spent this past season with the New Zealand Breakers of the NBL, told Sankofa he was encouraged by his conversation with the Pistons general manager. “You can tell he knows the game, you can tell he’s very detailed about the way he sees the game of basketball,” Hampton said. “That’s why he was very in-depth with his conversation. He seems like a really smart guy. Knows a lot about the game.”

As of now, the Pistons hold the seventh overall pick in the draft and will likely take the best player available. However, Sankofa notes that the Pistons could potentially move down and acquire another first-round selection.

If that’s the case, then the 6’5″ Hampton, who is projected to go in the early-to-late teens, might be on the Pistons’ radar. This season with the Breakers, Hampton averaged 8.8 PPG, 3.9 RPG, and 2.4 APG in 15 games.

Here’s more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • Billy Donovan and the Thunder parting ways on Tuesday adds a new layer to the Bulls’ coaching search, writes Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times. A source confirms to the Sun-Times that Chicago is interested in the former Oklahoma City head coach. Cowley goes on to compare Donovan’s coaching resume to former Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson, who is also a candidate for the Bulls’ job. Cowley argues that Donovan has overachieved in Oklahoma City, while Atkinson had not done the same in Brooklyn. Lastly, he adds that several former and current head coaches have told the Sun-Times that Atkinson has a growing reputation of being a self-promoter.
  • In his latest mailbag, Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer explores if the Hornets could trade Nicolas Batum’s contract and potential draft options at No. 3 overall, among other topics. Bonnell believes that Batum, who is entering the final season of a five-year, $120MM deal, will likely stay in Charlotte. He details how the Hornets couldn’t trade Marvin Williams, who made $14MM last season — if Charlotte couldn’t move Williams’ contract, it will be hard to trade Batum, who will make $27MM next season.
  • The Wizards interviewed former Michigan State standout point guard Cassius Winston, per Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. Hughes mentions that the 22-year-old point guard is a likely option for Washington with the 37th overall pick in the second round. Last season with the Spartans, Winston averaged 18.6 PPG, 5.9 APG, and 1.2 SPG.

Draft Notes: Bassey, Ward, Winston, Olinde

Western Kentucky freshman center Charles Bassey will declare for the draft without signing with an agent, the school’s media relations department tweets. The 6’11” Bassey averaged 14.6 PPG, 10.0 RPG and 2.4 BPG in 34 games for the Hilltoppers. He is currently ranked No. 53 on ESPN draft expert Jonathan Givony’s Top 100 list.

We have more draft decisions:

  • Michigan State center Nick Ward has declared for the draft and hired an agent, he announced on his Instagram account. Ward averaged 12.9 PPG and 6.1 RPG as a junior, though he missed some late-season games due to a broken hand.
  • Michigan State point guard Cassius Winston will return for his senior season, according to a school press release. Winston was a consensus second-team All-American this past season, averaging a team-best 18.8 PPG and setting a Big Ten single-season record with 291 assists. He’s ranked No. 78 by Givony.
  • Louis Olinde, a 6’10” German forward, has declared for the draft, Givony tweets. The 21-year-old Olinde starts for Bamberg in Germany, where he’s shooting 38% from long range in the Basketball Bundesliga.
  • Aleksander Balcerowski, a 7’1” center from Poland, has also declared for the draft, according to another Givony tweet. The 18-year old has seen minutes with Gran Canaria in the EuroLeague and ACB Liga in Spain this season and would be one of the youngest players in the draft if he stays in.