The record-setter for Duke’s all-time vertical leap, Cassius Stanley exceeded expectations as one of the 2019 recruiting class’ top 4 star recruits. As a freshman Stanley averaged 12.6 PPG, 5 RPG, 1 APG, 0.7 SPG, 0.7 BPG, and 1.9 TOPG on shooting splits of 47/36/73. Below is his full scouting report:
Name: Cassius Stanley
Wingspan/ standing reach: 6’7/ N/A
Hand size: N/A
Tools: Athleticism, defense
- Excellent athlete with high end speed
- Strong first step
- Able to guard quicker players on the drive
- Good rebounder on both ends of the floor
- Great body control with excellent recovery ability
- Elite in transition
- Jump shot can be flat at times
- Needs to add weight/strength
- Must speed up feet on catch & shoot
- Needs to tighten handle
- Short arms
Cassius Stanley is an elite athlete with plus defensive ability, needing to round-out his offensive game. He was one of the best defenders in the ACC as a freshman, and as he continues to fill out his frame, he should continue to grow on that end of the floor. His athleticism, including his quick feet and high-level recovery ability, allow him to be versatile and switch onto guards capably. As he adds weight, he might be able to guard 1 through 4 depending on the lineup.
Offensively, Stanley does most of his damage in transition and off-ball. Bringing back his athleticism again, his transition offense was elite. He simply out-ran defenders or caused chaos for defenses causing confusion on whether to guard the ball-handler or worry about Stanley as a lob threat.
In the half-court, Stanley is much more limited, and this is where much of his concern about his stock stems from. While he has a strong first step, his handle is loose and he lacks the ability to get to the basket at ease against multiple layers of defense. His best chance at becoming a positive offensive player is to develop his three point shot. He had a good shooting season at Duke, but he has to speed up his footwork when getting into his shots. Additionally, his free throw percentage is in the hit-or-miss range at 73%, making his jump shot difficult to project. If he cannot develop a reliable jumper, it’s hard to see him staying on the floor in the NBA. If he can reliably shoot, he becomes a coveted prize in the modern NBA: an athletic 3&D wing that every winning team needs.
NBA Comparison: Floor: Terrance Ferguson; ceiling; Gerald Henderson
Projected draft range: 22-47
Fit with Mavs/best fit:
If the Mavericks are confident in developing Stanley’s jump shot, they can try to develop him in the mold of Dorian Finney-Smith as a strong defender with a respectable jumper. The Mavs’ biggest need is a lockdown defender, and Stanley has the ability to be that from the minute he enters the league. This eases Luka Doncic’s defensive duties, but could hinder the offense if Stanley’s shooting does not develop, and his flat and potentially slow jump shot do not improve.
Other fits for Stanley around the league are:
- Utah, who needs on-ball defenders
- Boston, who has historically developed jump shooters well
- The Lakers, who could improve an already impressive defense and potentially have a core wing piece if Stanley’s jump shot develops.