TyTy Washington declared for the 2022 NBA Draft after an up and down year with Kentucky. Kentucky finished 2nd in the SEC. They showed great promise to compete in the March Madness Tournament but lost in an upset in the first round to Saint Peter’s. Without this footage for Kentucky’s primary guard, Washington didn’t get a chance to show scouts his promise.
TyTy Washington 2022 NBA Draft Profile
Washington left high school ranked as the number 21 player in the class of 2021 as a five-star recruit. He originally committed to Creighton but decided to take his talents elsewhere and decided to join Kentucky and the great John Calipari. Calipari is not shy when it comes to dealing with first-round talent guards producing 14 of them since becoming head coach in 2009.
Washington received a lot of praise while at Kentucky. He was the winner of the SEC Freshman of the Week multiple times and was also a finalist for the Jerry West award. He also helped lead Kentucky to a 26-8 record. Washington averaged 12.5 points, 4 assists, and 1.3 steals. He did all this while remaining efficient by shooting 45% from the field and 35% from three.
Washington’s best attribute has to be his efficient shooting. Shooting 35% from three on 3.3 attempts per game is not an easy task. Washington has shown he can do this off of catch-and-shoot as well as dribbling into shots. He also has a decent midrange game that makes him a threat with the ball at all times. Kentucky had many plays that involved a screening action that freed Washington up for a midrange around the free-throw line. His shooting combined with his sneaky off-ball movement opened up Kentucky’s offense.
Washington also shows great potential defensively. He has a great hustle averaging 1.3 steals a game. Some of these were obtained with a great court I.Q. that allowed him to intercept the ball, while others were garnered with fast hands. This was all done while only averaging 1.5 fouls per game. He’s also quick enough to stay in front of most guards he was matched up against.
The playmaking of Washington was also a great skill. He averaged 3.9 assists as the secondary ball-handler. He also only had 1.6 turnovers per game which made it an efficient ratio. This opened up the game for players down low as he got a lot of assists off easy lobs. He also broke a Kentucky record when he recorded 17 assists in one game. The mixed threat of playmaking and natural scoring makes him an overall threat on the offensive side.
Washington’s aggressiveness on defense didn’t always work in his favor. Occasionally he would get beat back door due to him ball-watching too much. He also could get caught up on screens trying to hedge when he should fight over or get caught going over when he should cut under.
Another issue for Washington is his lack of athleticism when it comes to attacking with the ball. He doesn’t have the fastest first step so defenders tend to stay on his side rather than getting past them. This is also shown in his finishing ability as many of his layups remained contested. His vertical also isn’t high enough to jump over players as he tends to use his frame to jump into them.
An NBA comparison for Washington is Derrick White. Both are guards with a decent frame as White is 6’4 and Washington is 6’3. With this frame, they both finish well through contact but take highly contested layups when it’s not necessary. They also both have the ability to shoot off the dribble and the catch. White was a secondary playmaker behind Dejounte Murray while Washington played alongside Sahvir Wheeler. Both also play great defense with long wingspans and can get roughly a steal per game.
In the Sports Illustrated list of the top 100 prospects, Washington came in as the 24th-ranked prospect. He could go to a contending team later in the draft and help them compete right away. Washington could end up being one of the better players in this draft with good defense and a high ceiling.