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Is Duke's Justise Winslow A Top NBA Prospect? Why?

Duke is set to take on Michigan State in a couple of hours in the first semifinal of the 2015 Final Four. The Blue Devils boast a talented trio of freshmen in big man Jahlil Okafor, point guard Tyus Jones and electrifying wing Justise Winslow. The 6-foot-6, 225-pound Winslow has been a force during this year's tournament, averaging 14 points and 12.5 rebounds per game. When he takes the floor tonight, he will likely be the best athlete on the court. But what does that mean at the next level? Is Winslow a top NBA prospect worthy of his likely one-and-done status?

In most NBA mock drafts, Winslow is being projected as a definite lottery pick, one of the first 14 players off the board. He could very well land in the top five, and his impressive NCAA Tournament performance has only raised his stock. There's even been some in the media offering the case for Winslow being the top overall pick, though that's an unlikely scenario. 

There are plenty of reasons that Winslow is such a highly-regarded prospect. The main ones are: physical attributes/athleticism, defensive ability and offensive versatility.

Just 19 years old, Winslow already possesses an "NBA body." He's a freak athlete with exceptional jumping ability and quickness. This enables him to contribute at both ends of the floor and allows him to attack the glass with abandon. Defensively, he's shown himself to be a willing and able defender at the collegiate level, and his shot-blocking ability, particularly when trailing a play in transition, is eye-catching. On offense, he needs to become more of a "knockdown" shooter at the next level, but he's shown he can hit from outside (42 percent from beyond the arc). His driving ability is top-notch and he's unafraid to mix things up on the offensive boards and create second opportunities. His ball-handling needs work, but on the break, he's a force with the ball in his hands thanks to his superior athleticism and powerful frame.

There is really nothing Winslow can do to elevate his draft stock, regardless of what Duke does in Indianapolis. That's okay, because he's locked and loaded as one of the top players in this draft and whichever franchise lands him in June likely won't be disappointed.