P.J. Washington’s father, Paul Washington Sr., told Fletcher Page of the Courier Journal that if P.J. is promised to be picked in the first round of the NBA Draft it will make his son’s decision easy.
He will stay in the draft. But even if Washington isn’t promised a first round spot there’s no guarantee he will return to Kentucky for a sophomore season.
“It’s real simple — if he’s guaranteed a first round pick, then he’ll stay in the draft,” Paul Washington said. “If he doesn’t get that, we’ll have to make a decision. It’s PJ’s decision. Now, if he doesn’t get a first-round guarantee and a team says he’ll be an early second round pick, then PJ might say he wants to do that. That’s his decision as well. But the easiest thing is if he gets a guarantee in writing that he’ll go in the first round.”
The entire article from Page can be found here and it’s worth the read. Washington has worked out for the Celtics and Nets and will work out for the Clippers this week before meeting with the Bucks and Timberwolves. After those meetings and workouts Washington will head to the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago next week.
The Texas native byway of Findlay Prep in Nevada averaged 10.8 points and 5.7 rebounds during his freshman season at UK. Washington would be one of the favorites for SEC Player of the Season if he returned for a sophomore season but if one team falls in love with Washington it sounds like he won’t be back.
“Mentally, physically and what can he do at the next level and at what position,” Washington Sr. told me back in March after the season. “It will have to be the right spot, just like why we picked UK. Hopefully it will be the right team. Everybody gets all caught up on the draft board. Only one team is going to draft him. That’s it. Can he make a team? Can he make another team better? He’s a winning basketball player so I think he does.”
You mix that quote in with Page’s latest and it may not seem to be great for Washington. Currently Washington isn’t projected in the first round, but that can always change.
Here are the (current) NBA Draft picks for the team’s that have/will met with Washington:
Celtics: 27th pick.
Nets: 29th pick, 40th pick (second round), 45th pick (second round).
Clippers: 12th and 13th pick.
Bucks: 17th pick.
Timberwolves: 20th pick, 48th pick (second round).
Obviously some of these draft orders may change with trades and whatnot, but it seems like the Celtics and Nets are the big concerns. Surely Washington wouldn’t leave with a promised pick in the 40s, right?