Spurs Prospect Watch: P.J. Washington

LEXINGTON, KY - DECEMBER 16: PJ Washington #25 of the Kentucky Wildcats celebrates in the 93-86 win over the Virginia Tech Hokies at Rupp Arena on December 16, 2017 in Lexington, Kentucky. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

The San Antonio Spurs have over 30 wins just weeks before the All-Star break and are looking like they are in good shape to get to the Playoffs. That entails not only a seven-game series with someone, but it also means a low draft pick this season — barring a major trade of course.

That brings us once again to our Spurs prospect watch. This week we will focus on Kentucky forward P.J. Washington. He is one of the more intriguing prospects as he is a 6-foot-7, 236-pound forward who has shown flashes of stretch big potential, but doesn’t quite have the numbers to back it up.

Hare are his stats to give you a better idea of what he can do:

  • 10.7 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 2.1 APG
  • 53.0 FG%, 26.7 3P%, 59.0 FT%
  • 110 ORtg, 100.5 DRtg
    • Per-40:
      • 15.5 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 3.1 APG

Washington is a classic “tweener” as he’s not quite big enough to be a power forward, but not a good enough shooter to be a small forward. Spurs fans may not like this comparison, but he’s kind of a Dejaun Blair. That comes with the exceptions that both of his¬† ACLs are perfectly in tact and he actually has some athleticism because of it. He plays less than 28 minutes a game because of how many studs Kentucky has, but he makes the most of it and could be a nice project if he can be gotten at the right spot in the draft.

Washington has a good wingspan and is athletic enough to play defense at three or four positions so that’s certainly something to work with right off the bat. He’s also good at getting to the free throw line as he isn’t afraid of contact and shoots about 5.5 free throws a game. However, because of his poor shooting at this stage in his development, he makes less than 60 percent of those shots.

A late first round pick or going any time in the second round would be a nice get for the Spurs in Washington’s case. However, it’s going to be hard to justify grabbing him unless the team thinks he can drastically improve his sub-30 percent three-point shooting and make him a more consistent scorer from outside the paint as well.

His mid-range game and relentless on defense could be a great asset though and might be worth taking a shot on and letting him work his way through the G-League to start.


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