TyTy Washington got off to a great start in his freshman year at Kentucky before injuries slowed him down in the second half of the year. He had a late rise in the recruiting rankings his senior year of high school and that improvement seemed to be warranted with the way he began his season. He notched a couple of 20-point games early during the non-conference portion of the season while also having a game with 17 assists and was making a name for himself. The injuries took away some of his burst and he was inconsistent to end the year but it wasn’t enough to knock him out of the first round and he’s pretty comfortably a top 20 pick in the upcoming 2022 NBA Draft.
So let’s discuss what makes Washington one of the top guards in this class.
TyTy Washington thrives in the mid-range area where he can get to his one and two dribble pull-ups and his floater. He shot over 50% from inside the three-point line. He has smooth shooting mechanics and that’s evident in his mid-range pull-up where he excels vs his shot extended out to the three-point line which was inconsistent but seems like it should be an easy improvement.
Footage of TyTy Washington from the Rep 1 Pro Day. The Kentucky guard showcased his size, length, shot-making prowess and skill in front of many key decision makers from all 30 NBA teams. pic.twitter.com/cVoaDDwx7d
— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) May 27, 2022
He’s good at going left and getting into his shot while also knowing how to speed up to create separation before decelerating and shooting with good balance on his shots. His floater when he gets into the lane with his right hand is another move he likes to get to. He’s not someone who’s always looking to get all the way to the basket, shooting just 13% of his shots there this past season so he utilizes his floater often when he gets in the lane.
These two areas are where he will make his money early in his career at the next level. As he begins to extend his range it will only help open his ability to get into the lane if he can be an average three-point shooter which at 35% in college some may say he was.
Washington showed the ability to make plays for others while rarely playing on-ball for Kentucky this season. He was a secondary ball-handler for the team with Sahvir Wheeler dominating the ball for the team but he was still able to average four assists per game. In limited reps, he was excellent at reading the correct read in pick and roll situations and had a good sense for finding lob threats. It’s an area he still needs to develop, in terms of playmaking but Kentucky’s offense didn’t give him the spacing and full capability to show off that area of his game. TyTy Washington still produced a 17 assist game during the conference season, albeit against a bad Georgia team.
He does a good job finding shooters when extending his drives past where he looks to shoot his pull-up jumpers most often. His size allows him to see over smaller guards which will be less frequent at the next level as most guards will be his size. He can improve as a live-ball passer, but the amount of guards who excel in that aspect of the game is smaller than one may think. The upside is high here and with his vision, if he’s put on the ball at the next level he should be a plus creator.
Weakness: Creating Separation
TyTy Washington lacks some burst in his game and it makes it hard for him to create great separation at times. It’s why when you see him settle for most of his mid-range jumpers it is partially because he can’t get by his man. The times he does have space are because of the use of screens which he frequently used to get his space. His lack of burst combined with the lack of wiggle in his game is the biggest knock and reason for his inability to at times create separation.
He’s a good athlete, not a great one and at times can be pretty stiff which is the biggest reason for the lack of wiggle. It often leads to him taking difficult shots and many contested shots in the 10-15 foot range. It’s not something that just improves overnight or even a ton but he can continue to make incremental gains to add a bit of explosiveness. He has some shades of Jrue Holiday with neither being truly explosive athletes but can still function and get where they need to go but will oftentimes be forced into taking tough shots.
NBA Comparison: Jrue Holiday
Is TyTy Washington a Jrue Holiday clone? No, but Washington does have some elements in his game that resemble the NBA Champion Holiday, especially on the offensive end. Both are good creators and do a good job of finding teammates and creating for others. Neither has exceptional bounce, burst, or wiggle to his game but still finds a way to score fairly well. Holiday is comfortable shooting jumpers in the mid-range area vs threes similar to Washington although Holiday does get all the way to the basket much more often than Washington.
Defensively, Washington is not at Holiday’s level, although not many are with Holiday being seen as one of the best premier defenders in the league. Although Washington doesn’t have elite burst he does do a good job of staying in front and showed promise as a freshman defender. Playing for John Calipari at Kentucky will do that as his teams always defend well. Washington likely never develops into the two-way force that Holiday is but offensively he has a chance to play and succeed in a similar way on the offensive end in the league as he continues to develop his game.