P.J. WASHINGTON 2018 NBA Draft Scouting Report
WEIGHT: 230 POUNDS
POSITION: POWER FORWARD
PROJECTED DRAFT POSITION: LATE FIRST-EARLY 2ND ROUND (INDIVIDUAL WORKOUTS WILL BE CRITICAL/MIGHT RETURN FOR SOPHOMORE YEAR)
In a way, P.J. Washington is closer to what you’re looking for in the modern NBA: a “position-less” forward who stands 6’7 and 230+ pounds, and can run the floor or bully his way around the basket. You could certainly look at it from the perspective that he has the body and the strength that’s required to hold up in the NBA. With his broad shoulders, sturdy frame, and surprising dexterity for a man his size, he looks born to play on the hardwood.
But as you might suspect, that also presents something of a double-edged sword, in that he might be something of a “tweener” as well: too small to bang with the big guys, and too big to run with the small guys. The beauty of his skill-set is really in the eye of the beholder.
Offensively, Washington leverages his size to generate points around the hoop, using a combination of his strength and his natural skills for creating points down low. Because of his height, length, and athleticism, he’s able to make plays above the rim as well. He’s not afraid of crashing to the basket to generate offense or pull down rebounds.
At least in the initial part of his career, Washington might be limited to being more of a role player because of the aforementioned “tweener” stigma that comes with the fact that he doesn’t really have elite height or size, juxtaposed with a skill-set that’s suited for someone larger than him. He’s not really a ball handler, and not suited to defend guys one-on-one on the wing; when he’s put into that situation, he might find himself in foul trouble.
Until he’s able to develop more of a perimeter-based game, teams might look at him as more of a second-unit depth and energy guy. The encouraging part is that a shooting touch isn’t too hard to develop if the right effort is applied, especially since there’s nothing really “broken” when it comes to Washington’s shooting touch (outside of a release that some might see as a tad slow).
Regardless of the perceived limitations, Washington has the ability to have a successful NBA career, given his individual makeup and character. Washington has the “alpha male” personality that’s typical of many of the players who thrive under Calipari. For all the knocks people have listed against him, he’s shown a relatively advanced basketball IQ for a player his age, manifested at least in the polish of his moves that he’s developed to date, and his overall awareness when he’s on the court.
An optimist would look at P.J. Washington and see him becoming something between a Draymond Green and a Jae Crowder-type player, minus a jump shot (at this stage of his development, anyway). At worst, you could see him being a Trevor Booker-type player.
The likelihood, especially considering the fact that Washington will be only 20 years old when he starts his NBA career. For a team that values movement and skill over size and physicality, they could very likely maximize P.J. Washington’s skills while overlooking the fact that he’s not necessarily the big man of yesteryear.
BELOW ARE HIGHLIGHTS OF P.J. WASHINGTON
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