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The Charlotte Hornets tonight selected forward PJ Washington from the University of Kentucky with the 12th overall pick in the first round of the 2019 NBA Draft. In the second round, the team added guard/forward Cody Martin from the University of Nevada with the 36th overall pick and forward Jalen McDaniels from San Diego State University with the 52nd overall pick.

The 6-8 Washington was a consensus All-America Third Team selection and earned All-SEC First Team honors as a sophomore in 2018-19 after averaging a team-high 15.2 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.2 blocks over 29.3 minutes in 35 games for Kentucky. He shot .522 from the field (190-364) and .423 from beyond the three-point line (33-78), making him one of only four players in the nation standing 6-8 or taller who averaged at least 15.0 points per game, shot .500 or better from the field, shot .400 or better from beyond the three-point line and made at least 30 three-pointers.

@PJWashington

For the season, Washington ranked third in the SEC in field goal percentage, fifth in total rebounds (264), sixth in rebounds per game, sixth in defensive rebounds (183), seventh in field goals made (190), eighth in total points (531), ninth in free throws made (118), 11th in points per game and 15th in both total blocks (43) and blocks per game. He was a finalist for the Karl Malone Award honoring the country’s top power forward, as well as the John R. Wooden Award and the Naismith Trophy.

As a freshman in 2017-18, Washington averaged 10.8 points on .519 shooting from the field (135-260), 5.7 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 27.4 minutes in 37 games played. In his first season with the Wildcats, he ranked 12th in the SEC in free throws made (126), 14th in offensive rebounds (67) and 15th in both defensive rebounds (144) and total rebounds (211).

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The 36th overall pick, Martin was named to the All-Mountain West Third Team and Mountain West All-Defensive Team in 2018-19 after averaging 12.1 points, 4.9 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game, while shooting .505 from the field, including .358 from beyond the three-point line. As a senior for Nevada, the 6-7 Martin led the Mountain West in total assists (167) and assist-to-turnover ratio (2.6), while ranking third in assists per game, third in total steals (46), third in minutes played (1,171) and fourth in steals per game.

As a junior in 2017-18, the native of Mocksville, NC, was named Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year and earned All-Mountain West Second Team and Mountain West All-Defensive Team honors. Martin finished his junior campaign averaging 14.0 points, 6.2 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.5 blocks in a conference-best 35.7 minutes per game. He led the conference in total steals (60) and ranked second in assists per game, steals per game, total assists (169) and minutes played (1,284). He also ranked third in total blocks (53), fourth in blocks per game, fifth in field goal percentage (.516), seventh in total field goals (193) and eighth in total rebounds (225).

Martin played his first two seasons at North Carolina State University before transferring to Nevada following the 2015-16 campaign. In two seasons with the Wolfpack, he averaged 5.1 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 20.6 minutes over 52 games played.

The 52nd overall pick, McDaniels played two seasons at San Diego State. As a sophomore in 2018-19, he earned All-Mountain West Second Team honors after averaging 15.9 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.1 steals in 31.0 minutes per game. The 6-10 McDaniels ranked fourth in the conference in field goals (212), fourth in field goal percentage (.466), fifth in total rebounds (281), fifth in defensive rebounds (214), seventh in total points (541) eighth in rebounds per game, ninth in points per game, ninth in steals (38) and ninth in minutes played (1,055).

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As a freshman in 2017-18, McDaniels was named to the All-Mountain West Third Team by the media and honorable mention by the coaches. He averaged 10.5 points, and 7.5 rebounds in 24.7 minutes per game, while shooting .586 from the field (126-215) and .788 from the free-throw line (89-113). McDaniels ranked sixth in the conference in total rebounds (248), sixth in offensive rebounds (74), seventh in rebounds per game, eighth in defensive rebounds (174) and 10th in free-throw percentage (.788).

Paul Jamaine “P. J.” Washington Jr. (born August 23, 1998) is an American professional basketball player for the Charlotte Hornets of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball for the Kentucky Wildcats.

Washington is the son of Sherry and Paul Washington Sr. He has two brothers Tyler and Spencer, and one sister Alexandria. Both of his parents played basketball at Middle Tennessee State. He wears number 25 because his father wore 25 in college.[1]

P.J. Washington was such a Charlotte Hornets draft pick. For the last several years, the team has favored productive players from traditional college basketball powerhouses. Washington fits that bill to a t.

Washington was coached by his father at Findlay Prep, one of college basketball’s premier feeder schools. He was a five star recruit coming out and was ranked as the 11th or 13th best prospect in the nation depending on the source. Like many prospects in his position, he chose to attend college at Kentucky, which is basically an NBA preparatory academy at this point.

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His freshman season at Kentucky was a little underwhelming. He averaged 10.8 points and 5.7 rebounds per game while shooting a paltry 23.8% from three on 21 total attempts. He still entered his name in the 2018 NBA Draft, but ultimately decided to return to school for his sophomore season.

Whatever he heard during last year’s pre-draft process clearly motivated the Louisville native. His sophomore season was a massive improvement over his freshman campaign. He improved in every single statistical category. Points, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks, field goal percentage, 2-point percentage, 3-point percentage all went up, even on a per-40 minute basis. Meanwhile, his turnovers and fouls decreased. He improved his efficiency and lowered his turnover rate despite seeing an increase in usage. His offensive rating and offensive box plus/minus took massive leaps while his defensive metrics improved to elite levels.

His rapid improvement clearly caught the front office’s collective eye, enough so that they made him the twelfth pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.

Washington, like the rest of the Hornets recent draft picks, is a do-it-all player. Adding a jump shot to his repertoire really rounded out his game and gives him a skill to lean on right away at the NBA level. His form his picturesque. It’s compact and repeatable with almost no wasted motion. He gets into his shot quickly and isn’t bothered by heavy contests. He likes to step into his shot, but he can catch on the hop if the situation necessitates it. He’s also got a great jumper out of triple threat when facing up defenders.

Washington can guard three positions comfortably, from small forward to center. He’ll probably spend most of his time at the four spot in the NBA, but he can slide up or down a spot if needed in different lineup configurations. He has good feet to guard on the perimeter and his length and athleticism allow him to protect the rim when he’s fully engaged. His 7’2.5” wingspan can cover a lot of his mistakes as well.

I expect Washington to have a similar rookie season arc to Miles Bridges. He’ll start off backing up Marvin Williams and may only see sporadic minutes for the first few weeks of the season, but it shouldn’t take long for him to solidify a spot in the rotation, especially if his jump shot translates immediately. By his second season at the latest, he should be able to slide in as the starting four next to Miles Bridges, giving the Hornets an athletic, interchangeable duo of versatile forwards.