After coming back for a rare second season at Kentucky, PJ Washington has declared once again for the NBA Draft. Washington had quite a season this year as a sophomore. He led the Wildcats in scoring, rebounds, and most surprisingly three-point percentage, posting averages of 15.2, 7.5, and 42.3% in those categories respectively.
Last season, Washington entered the NBA Draft, tested the waters with multiple workouts with teams, and was projected to be a fringe first-round pick. For those around PJ, they weren’t sure if he would go 25th or 40th. Now, after coming back for a second season, PJ Washington has proved that you don’t need to be a one-and-done at Kentucky to be successful.
PJ Washington took to Twitter this morning with the help of the UK Video department to make the announcement.
I will be entering my name into the 2019 NBA Draft and signing with an agent. Thank you BBN for all your love and support over the past two years. Once a wildcat, Always a wildcat ???? pic.twitter.com/3x6n5RcHqZ
— Paul Washington Jr (@PJWashington) April 9, 2019
This season PJ Washington established himself as not only an All-SEC player, he was announced as a Third Team All-American as well. There was a time in the season when Washington was being tabbed as SEC Player of the Year but after a few lackluster performances to end the regular season he ended up losing out to Grant Williams as the Tennessee Vol grabbed his second SEC POY award in a row. His draft stock has greatly improved and Def Pen’s own Mock Draft guru, Gabe Esquivel has Washington going 13th overall to the Charlotte Hornets.
With improved offensive ability, including scoring and passing, it was noticeable that Washington had improved his confidence in his game. Coming back for a second season can be daunting at a school like Kentucky with one-and-done players coming in every year, it could be easy to get passed up in the NBA rankings by your own teammates. For PJ, this was no problem.
After the first half of the season, Washington was undoubtedly the best player on Kentucky’s squad come January. Washington is the first to declare for the Cats this season, but he surely won’t be the last. Fellow Wildcats Keldon Johnson and Tyler Herro are also projected to be first-round picks, and a couple of other Wildcats may declare just to test the waters.