Justise Winslow is an intriguing enigma
Winslow comes to his fourth team in two-plus seasons after spending the first five years of his career in Miami. He showed heaps of promise early on despite missing 64 games in his second season with wrist and shoulder injuries.
His best year came in 2018-19 and saw career highs of 12.6 points, 5.4 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game. But he required a hip replacement the following season and after some quarrel with Heat management about how the injury was handled was dealt to Memphis as part of the Andre Iguodala deal in the summer of 2019.
With Powell gone, Winslow instantly becomes the best perimeter defender on the Blazers and – unlike Powell – can actually defend multiple positions effectively. It’s not just silver lining hunting to say that Winslow is a huge upgrade in on-ball defense for Portland.
He’s guaranteed just a touch over $4 million next year, which is an excellent value for a third or fourth guard with defensive stopper capability. Winslow showed tenacity and smarts in his debut against the Bucks last night and will be playing for his next contract for the next season or so.
Considering his injury history, Winslow’s ceiling is definitely much lower than it was when he was chosen 10th in the 2015 NBA draft in between Frank Kaminsky and Myles Turner. But he offers decent value for the money if he can stay healthy, and should fit in fine with the reconfigured 2022-23 Trail Blazers.