The Charlotte Hornets badly need an infusion of young talent on the wing. There’s no wing on the roster with All Star potential and the depth is precarious. They probably won’t find that star in the second round, but they can add some depth and interesting talent there. One player that fits that mold is Duke guard Cassius Stanley.
Weight: 195 pounds
Vertical leap: ∞”
Strengths: Athleticism, defensive potential, catch-and-shoot ability
Stanley’s athleticism immediately jumps out. Just look at the picture at the top of this article. His vertical leap is comfortably above 40 inches and leads to some incredible highlights. That makes him a threat in transition where he can attack in a straight line and defenders have no chance to contest him at the rim.
That athleticism also shows up on the defensive end, though he still needs some polishing on that end. He has the lateral quickness and burst to stick on wings, and his leaping ability can wipe away mistakes. His 1.1 blocks per 40 minutes is a very strong number for a guard.
Stanley isn’t just a raw athlete with limited skill. He knocked down 36.0% of his three 3-point attempts per game at Duke. He backed that up by shooting a respectable 73.3% from the free throw line. His release is quick and compact, though he sometimes slows himself down with his footwork.
Weaknesses: Creating offense, feel for the game, age for class
Stanley is not an offense initiator. He doesn’t have the handle or the craftiness to create looks for himself in the half court and doesn’t have a good feel for setting up his teammates. He frequently drove into crowds and forced up ill advised shots in his single season at Duke. He only registered 30 assists against 54 turnovers in college. That’s extremely low for a guard/wing player.
Stanley also has some warts on the defensive end. He averaged 1.0 steal per 40 minutes, which is generally a red flag for NBA prospects. He also committed 3.2 fouls per 40 minutes, which is a little on the high side.
This might not be relevant, but I’m generally not a fan of players that are significantly older than the rest of their class. Stanley just completed his freshman year at Duke, but he’ll turn 21 years old later this month. He played his entire senior season of high school at age 19, which is when a lot of players are already well into their college career. For reference, he’s one year older than lottery prospect Devin Vassel, who just completed his sophomore season at Florida State.
Cassius Stanley is a highlight factory that has enough skills to warrant a look in the second round. There will probably be better prospects for the Hornets to pick at 32, but Stanley would be hard to pass on should he fall into the 50s, where the Hornets own the Celtics’ second round pick. If nothing else, he’ll add some more excitement to the roster.