2022 NBA Draft: Could TyTy Washington be Wizards’ long-term answer at point guard?

Could TyTy Washington be Wizards' answer at PG? originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

The Washington Wizards have the 10th overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. Here is the latest in our series on draft prospects who could fall around where the Wizards will select…

2022 NBA Draft Wizards Prospect Profile: TyTy Washington

Team: Kentucky

Position: Point guard

Age: 20

Height: 6-4

Weight: 196

Wingspan: 6-8

2021/22 stats: 31 G, 12.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 3.9 apg, 1.3 spg, 0.2 bpg, 45.1 FG% (4.9/10.9), 35.0 3PT% (1.2/3.3), 75.0 FT% (1.5/2.1)

Player comparison: C.J. McCollum, Dennis Schroder

Projections: NBC Sports Washington 16th, Sports Illustrated 23rd, Ringer 23rd, Athletic 17th, ESPN 16th, NBADraft.net 11th, Bleacher Report 15th

5 things to know:

-Washington is one of the best point guards in the 2022 class and one of the few true point guards with a chance to be taken in the lottery. He’s got good size for the position at nearly 6-foot-4 (6-foot-3 3/4 at the combine), he’s quick and has solid court vision. Washington can both score and make plays for others. He attacks the paint aggressively, has the strength to absorb contact and a knack for smooth finishes. As a passer, he makes quick decisions on closeouts and is a natural at throwing lobs. He can be a well-rounded offensive player in the NBA.

-His shooting numbers were fairly average, so teams will have to take a closer look at the context, like how he was shooting 41.3% through the first two months of his freshman season before his numbers dropped off. He also played through a knee injury late in the year. And if you go back to his high school days, he was consistently a good outside shooter. He also has a smooth shooting form with a compact and quick release. It’s highly possible he ends up a plus-shooter in the pros.

-Washington is considered a fairly average defender and his ceiling appears to be higher on the offensive end. His best traits defensively would be his ability to create turnovers on steals and also his rebounding, which stands out for his size and position. Washington had five games this season with three or more steals and nine games with five or more rebounds, including a 12-rebound performance against Ohio in November. At this point a fair expectation is that he can be a solid defender, but likely not an elite one.

-He could follow in a long line of Kentucky guards who flew under the radar in the draft. Devin Booker, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Tyler Herro, Tyrese Maxey and Immanuel Quickley were all picked outside of the top-10 but have gone on to become very good NBA players and in each case a draft steal.

-Washington broke John Wall’s single-game assist record at Kentucky with 17 dimes against Georgia in January. The previous mark was 16, set by Wall in 2009.

Fit with Wizards:

Washington is one of the best fits in the draft for what the Wizards need. He is a point guard who makes plays for others, he’s got good size for the position and he’s a decent shooter with the chance to be more than that down the road. The Wizards could check off multiple boxes by drafting him.

That said, it’s highly probable a better player is still available when they are picking 10th. Washington is projected to go a bit later in the first round. The Wizards could likely still get him if they traded back a few picks. There is, however, always a chance the mock drafts are wrong and perhaps they see him as a better option than Dyson Daniels, who is currently projected to be the best point guard in their range. Or, maybe Daniels is gone by 10 and they really want to get their point guard of the future, so they turn to Washington.

If Washington did come to… Washington, he would likely start out in a bench role but maybe not for long. The Wizards could sign a bridge starter with the hope Washington takes over that role by the end of his rookie season or going into Year 2. An ideal scenario could look like Maxey in Philadelphia, as he showed flashes as a rookie and then had a breakout sophomore season. Also like Maxey, Washington could earn minutes by playing both guard positions.

Regardless of how much he would help in the short term, Washington would represent the future for the Wizards at point guard. They would draft him with the expectation he could be a quality starter for many years to come. If he hones his outside shot and becomes a capable defender, he could turn into a really good NBA player.

2022 NBA Draft profiles:

Jabari Smith Jr., Auburn

Chet Holmgren, Gonzaga

Jaden Ivey, Purdue

Paolo Banchero, Duke

Keegan Murray, Iowa

Shaedon Sharpe, Kentucky

Johnny Davis, Wisconsin

Jalen Duren, Memphis

Dyson Daniels, G-League Ignite

Ousmane Dieng, International

Tari Eason, LSU

This article was written by WTOP’s news partner, NBC Sports Washington. Sign up for NBC Sports Washington’s free email subscription today.

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