Height: 6’8” Weight: 230 Wingspan: 7’2” Age: 20 College: Kentucky Hometown: Dallas, Texas
PJ Washington was the clear best player this year on a very solid Kentucky team. He averaged 20.7 points and 10.3 rebounds per 40 minutes while shooting 52% from the field. He has an aggressive, confident, and tough player that hates to lose. He can help a team with his toughness, Iq, shooting potential, and defensive potential. He can hurt a team with his defensive consistency, and just not having an elite skill that helps a team win that much. Posting up was one of the main ways he scored in the NBA, but I don’t see any NBA team running an offense where PJ is posting up. I don’t believe that post scoring will transfer, but he still has a chance to contribute to a team because he is a solid versatile combo forward, and could develop into a 3 and D guy that could even guard some 5’s.
PJ shot the ball incredibly last year and was in the 98th percentile on jump shots. He was on low volume and only made 33 threes on the year, so he’s not a 98th percentile level shooter, but he is still definitely a solid shooter. He has very efficient shot selection, and takes a lot more threes than long twos. He also takes almost all catch and shoot jumpers which is a good and bad thing. It’s good because it shows he knows his limits and his role, but bad because it’s part of the reason his efficiency is higher than how good of an actual shooter he is. If you can’t shoot off the dribble it’s hard to be a shot creator in the NBA, but this is fine because PJ is more of a role player so I don’t think many teams will ask him to do that. He will spend most of his time playing in spot ups where he was in the 85th percentile this year. He had an incredible 1.4PPP on no dribble jumpers, but he only took them 53% of the time. If he would have shot more his spot up efficiency likely would have went up. I don’t know if he realizes how good and effective of a three point shooter he can be, and this will be huge for his career. He’s very average attacking closeouts off the bounce.
PJ is a pretty average finisher around the rim and was in the 56th percentile as a finisher. He only uses his right hand and sometimes just goes up very wild. His great length and strength help him to still be an average finisher despite going up wild sometimes. PJ could be used as a pick and pop guy in the NBA. Not only can he make jump shots off of it, a lot of teams may switch his pick and pop, and while PJ won’t be posting up often in the NBA, he definitely can post up smaller guards easily. He’s not the player you want to switch guards on in the post.
PJ has potential defensively but he’s not there yet. I think he’ll be a good defender in the NBA down the road because he has great length and strength, and he also gives good effort. He needs to work on his reaction time, he is sometimes slow to react to players moves on the ball, and this will prevent him from being able to defend guards well on switches. He also gets lost off the ball. He seems like a mature hard worker that’s willing to dedicate time to learning in the film room so I bet he will work on the off ball and get better. He definitely improved at this from freshman to sophomore year. I think it will always be hard for him to defend guards off the bounce, but he can sometimes make up for getting beat because his length, so when he learns how to take advantage of his length more I think he’ll be a solid, but not lockdown on ball defender. He also has the length and strength to guard 5’s which and versatility is huge in the modern NBA. He can definitely guard 3-5 very solid at this point, and some 1’s and 2’s.
PJ washington is a tough versatile player that is reliable. I don’t think he has that high of ceiling, and i’d be shocked to see him become an elite player, but he has a high floor so he is a safe pick. He’s reliable because his toughness and IQ, and at the very least he can be an average versatile combo forward off the bench. At best he could be a very solid 3 and D player that starts and is very efficient. 3 and D players fit great with shot creators, to help PJ reach his potential I hope he’s playing with some good shot creators.