Despite having just one selection in Wednesday’s NBA Draft, the Indiana Pacers got their man and scooped up Duke’s Cassius Stanley.
GM Chad Buchanan said that the front office was surprised the wildly athletic Stanley fell that far. But they’re definitely not complaining. The Los Angeles native spent his lone collegiate season under Coach K and was named to the ACC All-Freshman Team. Even though Stanley is a California kid, he tweeted on Thursday that his mom’s side of the family calls Indiana home.
The intangibles of Stanley are hard to miss. He made the SportsCenter Top-10 multiple times because of his highlight reel dunks at Duke. And he can shoot it too. He shot 36 percent from three-point range with the Blue Devils. Under the new schemes of Nate Bjorkgren, Stanley seems like he can shine with some more coaching.
To help give us a look at Stanley’s game, Brendan Marks stopped by The Ride with JMV. Marks covers Duke for The Athletic and told JMV that Stanley can become a reliable “3-and-D” type player with solid development.
“If you like dunks and high flyers then Cassius Stanley is your guy,” Marks said. “This is a dude who broke Zion Williamson’s vertical record at Duke as soon as he got in the building. A lot of people knew he was an explosive athlete, but not like that.”
After getting drafted, Stanley was adamant in his interview and on his social media pages that he was pumped to get to work in the 317. He’s got the potential to put the “Swagger” in “Blue Collar, Gold Swagger”.
“He’s someone who did a little bit of everything for Duke,” Marks added. “That athleticism is going to be his best skill right now. There were games where he had to be the alpha shot taker, and there were games where he was more of a rebounding threat. He’s so explosive that even from the guard position he can get some boards.”
With the new system under Bjorkgren and the current uncertain status of Victor Oladipo, it’s tough to tell exactly what the Pacers will look like. But the potential for the team’s conditioning and athletic ability by adding Stanley is an exciting piece of the puzzle.
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