Spurs: Floor, middle, and ceiling player comparisons for Sidy Cissoko

San Antonio Spurs forward Sidy Cissoko at the 2023 California Classic Summer League. Cissoko was the 44th pick in the 2023 NBA Draft.
San Antonio Spurs forward Sidy Cissoko at the 2023 California Classic Summer League. Cissoko was the 44th pick in the 2023 NBA Draft. / PATRICK T. FALLON/GettyImages
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Floor Outcome: Stanley Johnson & Justise Winslow combo platter

Spurs fans who tuned into a midseason game likely recall Stanley Johnson with some fondness. For a 30-game stretch from December until he was waived in February, he played with his hair on fire, careening around the court in transition and supplying ample energy on defense.

His solid performance ultimately wasn't enough to stick in San Antonio this season, but the former Detroit Pistons lottery pick is often in contention for a NBA roster spot somewhere because of his baseline athleticism, motor, and strength at 6'6 and 242 pounds.

Cissoko is currently listed at 6'7 with 225 pounds, already possessing a frame that can dole out and withstand punishment. The 19-year-old plays with a similar verve as Johnson in the open court, seeking contact on downhill drives and often overwhelming opponents with his power and momentum.

A distinct element missing from Johnson's game that is ever present in Cissoko's is the Frenchman's proclivity for passing with a full head of steam. To be fair, Johnson actually had probably the best passing season of his career while he was with the Spurs, but his growth in that area still falls short of the incoming rookie's vision, processing, and, yes, flair.

Enter Justise Winslow, another top 10 pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. Plagued by injuries for much of his career, the 6'6, 225-lb Winslow has always flashed tantalizing on-ball skills as a strong, versatile player dating back to his Duke days. He can be a creative playmaker when he gets two feet in the paint, much like Cissoko displayed as a prospect and in a handful of Summer League games.

The positional versatility between Winslow and Cissoko is also astonishing. Winslow is a rare NBA player who has legitimately played significant minutes at all five positions on the floor, while Cissoko has essentially played everything but center thus far in his career.

At the very minimum, if he uses his natural physical gifts with precocious passing, the recent draftee's floor seems to be a useful power wing that will be in the league for at least eight years. The caveat, of course, is that both Johnson and Winslow have bounced around teams over the last few years because of either their unreliable shooting, unavailability due to injury, or inability to finish at the rim consistently in the halfcourt.

Still, if one were to bet on Cissoko's development in a few key areas, this combination of Johnson and Winslow's skillsets would have good odds to stick around and contribute for a long time.