P.J. Washington NBA Draft: Profile & Projections

pj washington nba kentucky

Getty PJ Washington is projected to be a lottery pick in the 2019 NBA draft.

P.J. Washington has been a focal point of the Kentucky offense and a big part of the Wildcats success this season. So much so that Washington is shaping up to be a lottery pick in the 2019 NBA draft.

Washington is ranked No. 13 on ESPN’s latest big board of the top 100 prospects. The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie has him going No. 19 in his latest mock draft.

Washington is averaging 14.8 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.2 blocks this season.

Here is a look at Washington’s NBA draft profile.


P.J. Washington NBA Draft Profile


STRENGTHS: Washington is as polished as they come in the post. Great footwork and an array of post moves allow the big man to be Kentucky’s go-to player when the Wildcats are really thriving. While Kentucky does not ask Washington to shoot outside a lot, the big man has shown he can and is shooting 41.9 percent from the three-point line. During his high school career, Washington showed off more of his handle and jump shot.

Washington is a solid rebounder at 7.5 boards a game, but you would like to see that number a little higher. Washington’s massive 7’3″ wingspan puts him in prime position to be a good defender and rebounder at the next level.

WEAKNESSES: The college game is officiated differently than the NBA, but Washington has found himself in early foul trouble from time to time. Washington’s consistency is a work in progress and some of this ties into the way college games are officiated. Washington has 10 games this season where he scored in the single digits. He is a solid rebounder, but you would like to see him become a great rebounder.

Washington is not utilized as much on the perimeter at Kentucky as he likely would be in the NBA. This has more to do with the way Kentucky uses their big men than it does with Washington’s lack of ability.

The Kentucky big man is 20 years old and a year old than many of the prospects he will be compared against. While it should not be the case, players that are sophomores or older are often penalized. Players younger are deemed as having more upside, but we saw John Collins make teams pay for passing on him when he was a sophomore.

SUMMARY: The team drafting Washington is not expecting to get a superstar, but Washington has the potential to be an NBA starter. It will be interesting to see how his game expands offensively as he is asked to do more at the next level. As long as the Kentucky big man can have a solid NCAA tournament, Washington is likely going to be a late lottery pick in June’s draft.