Justise Winslow wants to remain a starter regardless moving forward
The Miami Heat expect to have former All-Star guard Goran Dragic back soon after the All-Star break following a two-month injury layoff for the 32-year-old. Once he gets back to full speed, he will surely reclaim his starting post, which may give Miami head coach Erik Spoelstra a bit of a headache.
Recently, 22-year-old Heat guard Justise Winslow — who has been filling in for Dragic during his absence — expressed his desire to remain in the starting lineup even upon Dragic’s return.
“I’m going to think about that and let my curiosity go crazy during the All-Star break,” Justise Winslow said of how Dragic’s return will impact his role and the Heat’s lineup, per Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. “That’s something that is out of my control. I can say what I would want, but it’s up to the coaches and I am ready to execute whatever role they give me.”
Asked then if he hopes to remain a starter, he said: “I would like to start.”
Justise Winslow has done well to grab the opportunity that was handed to him when Dragic went down with a knee injury late last year. In 26 starts for the Heat this season, the fourth-year guard has averaged 14.2 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 4.8 assists.
On the other hand, Dragic has not been at his best this year, with a number of injuries allowing him to suit up for the Heat on only 14 occasions this season. When healthy, the former Most Improved Player winner is averaging 15.3 points (on 41.0 percent shooting — his least efficient rate since his rookie year), 1.6 three-pointers, 3.1 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 0.7 steals, and 2.5 turnovers.
Arguably, Dragic still remains to be the best player on the team, but with how well Winslow has deputized in his stead, coach Spo will definitely have a lot to think about between now and when Dragic becomes 100 percent healthy.