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2020 NBA Draft Preview: Cassius Stanley 6’6 193 SG- Duke

What makes this player NASTY…(Strengths): 

Cassius Stanley is one of the best leapers in this year’s draft and could be a future NBA Dunk Contest participant. The athleticism shows on tape when he shoots the passing gap for steals and runs on the wing (Central Arkansas, ‘19).  When he gets a chance to set his feet on three-point attempts, he is almost automatic (36% from the three-point arc). Another subtle strength in his game is the ability to make the entry passes into the post and make hard cuts to the basket afterwards for finishes in the lane. Quick healer. Stanley was expected to miss a month in December with a leg injury but missed just one game. 

@cassius_stanley

Weaknesses: 

What is Stanley’s go to offensive move? Tre Jones was the table-setter at Duke, which meant the Duke shooting guard rarely had a chance to showcase his skills with the ball. Stanley could struggle in the lane if he is met against true seven-foot shot blockers (Georgetown, ‘19). He could aid his game with a consistent floater to complement his high-wire acts. The California native has a smooth shooting stroke but his free throw shooting percentage did not reflect that on a consistent basis (73%).

Other Notes:

  • Attended Harvard-Westlake School and Sierra Canyon School (Calif.). Participated in the Jordan Brand Classic and was a consensus four star recruit. 
  • Registered a 46” vertical jump, breaking former No. 1 overall pick Zion Williamson’s Duke vertical jump record of 45”
  • Mother, Tonya, ran track and field at UCLA 
  • Named to the 2019-2020 All-ACC Freshman team 
  • 2019-2020 (29 games, 29 sts): 12.6 PPG, 47% FG, 36% 3-PT, 73% FT, 4.9 RPG, 1 APG

Time to get NASTY (Our Summary):

Stanley could carve out a long NBA career if he can channel his athleticism into becoming a premier lockdown defender. The foot speed is there, but can he play defense consistently with his feet rather than his hands? Offensively, Stanley would be best served with a point guard that can get steals, push the ball and find him on the wing. The Pelicans have three total draft picks and Stanley would fit well with the often underrated Jrue Holiday, who also happened to be in the Top 10 in steals per game this past season. Worth noting, Lonzo Ball is an excellent passer and also finished in the Top 20 in steals per game. Stanley and Zion Willamson would be a nightmare for opposing teams’ transition defenses.