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PJ Washington making the right move by entering the draft

As announced earlier today, UK freshman PJ Washington will enter the NBA Draft for the sake of going to the combine (assuming he gets an invite, which isn’t certain), but will not hire an agent. It’s the right decision for Washington after one season in Lexington, and it will be the right decision when he decides to return for his sophomore season, as many suspect he will.

PJ Washington declares for draft, but not hiring agent

As I see it, Washington’s official statement declaring his entry into the draft is already pointing directly toward an eventual return, barring any encouraging feedback from the NBA. He emphasized his love for the program, school and the fans in Kentucky; and made a point to say he is doing it to “see where he stands” at Calipari’s recommendation. It’s what all NBA prospects should do if given the opportunity, even if they are fully committed to returning to school for another season. A 2016 rule change to the process allows NCAA players to withdraw from the draft multiple times, so why wouldn’t they attend the combine to get a feel for what to expect and where they stand in the eyes of NBA execs? It’s a no-brainer.

As for the likelihood Washington does get some encouraging feedback that may push him toward leaving for good, I don’t think his fans in Lexington should be too worried. It would likely take a first-round promise from an NBA organization to convince him to go, and the upcoming draft class includes several power forwards who are much more NBA-ready. That’s not to say he won’t get the feedback he needs to stay in the draft — his wingspan and vertical will garner attention — but the mock drafts and big boards suggest it would take a pretty significant climb for Washington to work his way up into first-round territory:

SI.com Top 100: No. 60
NBADraft.net: No. 93 overall; second-round pick in 2019 draft
ESPN Top 100: No. 47
Sporting News: Unranked among Top 60 prospects

Then there’s the talk behind the scenes that Washington and his family have been content with a two-year stint in Lexington all along. They don’t seem to be in a hurry like some families, which is the right mindset for Washington’s situation. He is best fit for small ball in the NBA, but his current game doesn’t fit his projected role in the pros. Another season in Lexington would buy him time to find a shot and some lateral quickness, among other tools, while competing at the highest level of college basketball at UK. He could be a star in college basketball next season, as opposed to bussing around the G-League, which is the most likely scenario for his immediate future if he were to leave for good.

So Washington’s decision to declare for the draft is the right one. And if he drops out of the draft to return to UK for his sophomore season, it will be the right decision too. He’ll hear all he needs to hear to better himself for the 2019 draft, when he leaves UK behind as a sophomore sensation and national champion. (Wouldn’t that be fun?)

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

23 Comments for PJ Washington making the right move by entering the draft



  1. BBNBRIAN
    5:23 pm April 3, 2018 Permalink

    Hit some free throws then come back… Next.



    • BBNDan7
      5:31 pm April 3, 2018 Permalink

      Let it go for the love of god



    • UK_fac_boi
      5:33 pm April 3, 2018 Permalink

      Said the BLOG BOY! Get a life loser!



    • Luether
      7:13 pm April 3, 2018 Permalink

      An appropriate comment for a player who choked on 12 FTs in a 3 point loss eliminating his Team from the NCAA tournament…



    • henderblue
      8:00 pm April 3, 2018 Permalink

      An inappropriate comment from a U-6 loser^^^^



    • ClutchCargo
      1:00 am April 4, 2018 Permalink

      Suck it, Luether. Wait, isn’t that how your team got eliminated last year?



  2. Kernel Sanders
    5:33 pm April 3, 2018 Permalink

    “No player is eligible for more than 2 drafts. Player loses college eligibility if agent is hired, or declares for draft twice.”

    Yes, they can declare for “multiple drafts”. Two. Kinda makes Hami’s decision a little tougher.



  3. Catcasey1
    5:43 pm April 3, 2018 Permalink

    They r not even in the game without P.J. so shut up about the free throws already



    • runningunnin.454
      5:54 pm April 3, 2018 Permalink

      FACT.



    • catsarerunnin
      6:57 pm April 3, 2018 Permalink

      This



    • Bobbum Man
      7:17 pm April 3, 2018 Permalink

      It just blows my mind that people forget this part of it, was literally the only guy that came to fight that night. Without his rebounds and his big plays we lose by 10+ easy



  4. Glenn Fohr
    6:15 pm April 3, 2018 Permalink

    He’ll be back. There are no 6’7 power forwards in the league these days, even with small ball.



  5. Azulgrande75
    6:18 pm April 3, 2018 Permalink

    I disagree, there are too many temptations for Washington or any young player to bear when they “test the waters”. Thanks Cal for pushing another one out the door prematurely!



    • BBNDan7
      6:20 pm April 3, 2018 Permalink

      What is going through your mind when you type this garbage



    • knowitall
      6:24 pm April 3, 2018 Permalink

      That may be one of the dumbest coments I’ve seen. Did Hami not “test the waters” last year and return?



    • henderblue
      8:03 pm April 3, 2018 Permalink

      Azulwhatever that comment is premature. And dumb



  6. Jeremy D
    6:32 pm April 3, 2018 Permalink

    Not even a little bit ready. But that’s the system we have. #Winthedraft



  7. Bobbum Man
    7:18 pm April 3, 2018 Permalink

    Crazy there’s still people whining about these players getting feedback from the nba guys when it happens every.single.year



  8. Jeremy D
    7:45 pm April 3, 2018 Permalink

    Not whining, I’m a grown ass man. I just know that part of the recruiting pitch is to get them to the league, not to be a student athlete at the University of Kentucky.

  9. Stinkface, we hardly knew ye. *sniff*



  10. Joe B. Y'all
    9:31 pm April 3, 2018 Permalink

    All those complaining realize you are a factor in this kid’s decision? It’s crazy to say 9 years in, but we need one n done fan etiquette training for some the BBN.



  11. chris43
    6:33 am April 4, 2018 Permalink

    I don’t blame him a bit for getting feedback. I just hope he doesn’t do something crazy and end up staying in the draft. I can’t see him doing so but crazier things have happened. He has a lot of potential but as of now he’s a 6’7 power forward (small for NBA) who doesn’t really have an outside shot. He had some good games but mostly played “bully ball” which he won’t be able to do in the NBA. If he comes back he should have a very nice year and quite possible set himself up decently for 2019.