Mock Draft: Spartans Winston, Tillman Updated Projections

McLain Moberg

As Michigan State fans wonder if Xavier Tillman Sr. and Aaron Henry will return to East Lansing, other outlets such as CBS Sports continuously update their 2020 NBA mock drafts.

Now, Matt Norlander provides us with a revamped look at the NBA draft, which now takes place on October 16. According to him, "it's the first time since the 1970s the NBA will hold its draft on that day of the week. By the time it gets here, we'll have waited nearly 16 months between drafts, making for the longest gap in league history."

Yet another unfortunate sign of everything happening in the world due to the coronavirus.

In Norlander's projections, Tillman will be selected 18th by the Dallas Mavericks, and the Boston Celtics shall take Winston at the 26th pick.

When evaluating Tillman, he said, "the fact that college basketball's No. 1 player in box plus/minus -- and therefore, one of its best defenders -- is not universally viewed as a first-round talent is still beyond me. Xavier Tillman still hasn't announced what he's going to do -- stay or return to Michigan State -- but it shouldn't take much longer. As far as I see it, he's got a ceiling that's clearly in the top 20 of this year's pool of players. Great teammate, instinctive, and intelligently physical on defense. Offense needs some work, but he still shot 61% from 2-point range. Aside from lacking a step-out jumper, Tillman is an ideal NBA power forward."

He called Cassius Winston, one of the best point guards in college basketball of the last decade, saying he "is going to find a way to stick in the league for at least two contracts. I'd rank Cassius Winston pretty high on the list of players whose draft stock took an immeasurable hit due to not getting an NCAA Tournament stage in 2020. Winston got MSU to the Final Four in 2019 and had the Spartans made a deep run; his projections might be more commonly seen in the first round. He's rightfully slotted lower because of his body, his defensive limitations -- and that's about it. Winston is a very good shooter, a wonderful passer, a terrific teammate, and an ideal backup NBA point guard. He'll go in the second round and almost certainly wind up with a better career than at least seven or eight guys taken before him."

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