Wizards

Wizards rookie Cassius Winston reacts to first NBA basket

Wizards

With eight Wizards unavailable to play the Spurs on Sunday night, rookie point guard Cassius Winston got a chance to show Washington some of his offensive repertoire that was a staple during his four years at Michigan State. 

After the game, Winston expressed his gratitude and desire to continue to improve after the Wizards tweeted out his first NBA bucket.

It was a smooth pull-up two-pointer coming off a screen from newly acquired center Alex Len. Washington acquired Winston in a draft-night trade that sent forward Admiral Schofield to Oklahoma City, who selected Winston with the 53rd pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.

RELATED: Wizards fall to San Antonio in long-awaited return to the court

The Wizards then designated Winston to a two-way deal this season, but as a seemingly less than 100% Russell Westbrook continues to get back up to speed from his nagging quadriceps injury, as well as both Raul Neto (groin) and Ish Smith (health and safety protocols) out in San Antonio, Winston registered 22 minutes in his first meaningful piece of NBA action.

The former Spartan star finished with eight points on 3-of-7 shooting, along with two assists and four rebounds. Winston made his NBA debut on Jan. 11 against the Suns, but played just two minutes and missed his only shot. 

To adjust for this season's challenges, two-way players can be active for 50 of a team's 72 games as opposed to a maximum of 45 days used in prior years. That means Wizards fans should expect to see a lot more of the 2019 Big Ten Player of the Year moving forward. 

 

As someone who averaged a shade below 20 points per game his final two seasons in college and led Michigan State to the Final Four his junior year, Winston is a welcome and intriguing spark to the depleted Wizards.