The Kentucky Wildcats boast an impressive young core and a number of players who have bright futures at the next level. One interesting NBA draft prospect is forward PJ Washington, who’s been a force for Kentucky this season, but has seen his stock jump around a bit. One big question about the Wildcats standout is how he’ll adjust to the NBA level due to his size, as he stands just 6-foot-8, but comes in at around 230 pounds.
Washington, who’s in his second season with the team, has increased his production across the board this year. He’s averaging 15.0 points, 7.9 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.1 blocks per game. Beyond that, he’s also shot an impressive 52.8 percent from the field and 44.8 percent from beyond the arc.
The ability to step out and knock down 3-pointers could be a key to Washington’s success at the NBA level as a potential stretch-four. We’re going to take a look at the latest on Washington’s NBA draft projections and where mocks currently see him coming off the board.
PJ Washington NBA Draft Projections & Mock Draft
Interestingly, Washington’s projections seem to be a bit all over the board. ESPN’s Jonathan Givony offered some love to the Kentucky big man, predicting him to come off the board at No. 17 overall in the first round to the Brooklyn Nets. This places him ahead of the likes of Gonzaga’s Brandon Clarke and Tennessee’s Grant Williams.
Sports Illustrated’s Jeremy Woo provided a similar draft spot, sending Washington to the Boston Celtics at No. 19, bumping him up from a previous spot of No. 20.
But as always, there are some who buy into the other side of the argument. And NBADraft.net doesn’t seem to be entirely sold on Washington just yet. They have him as the No. 42 pick overall, making him a second-round selection and sending him to the Dallas Mavericks.
PJ Washington NBA Draft Big Board Rankings
The highest we’ve seen Washington to this point in terms of any general rankings came on ESPN’s NBA Draft “best available.” They offered a grade of the No. 13 best overall player on the board, just behind Kentucky teammate Keldon Johnson and ahead of Oregon standout Bol Bol and Gonzaga’s Rui Hachimura (No. 14).
NBADraft.net opted not to peg Washington high on their latest big board, which makes sense based on the mock draft projection. Although they have the Wildcats forward moving up two spots, he’s still No. 59 overall, far behind the likes of Bol Bol (No. 18) and slightly behind Clarke (No. 50). Interestingly, the site has Hachimura in the top-five, ranking him as the No. 4 overall prospect at this point.