Charlotte Hornets: PJ Washington deserves more than the G-League

Charlotte Hornets PJ Washington. (Photo by Bob Leverone/NBAE via Getty Images)
Charlotte Hornets PJ Washington. (Photo by Bob Leverone/NBAE via Getty Images) /

With the 2019-20 NBA season fastly approaching, the Charlotte Hornets need to have a better plan for their lottery pick PJ Washington.

The Charlotte Hornets got a talented player in this year’s draft. He may not be the player that fans wanted, but PJ Washington has the potential to make a substantial impact with this year’s young team.

The Hornets drafted Washington with the 12th pick in this year’s draft. He only spent two seasons with Kentucky before declaring for the draft. The only thing wrong with this is that he’s undersized to play in the frontcourt.

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After Washington was drafted, Hornets’ General Manager Mitch Kupchak stated that he believed all of Charlotte’s draft picks would spend a significant amount of time in the G-League.

It’s hard to believe that Washington is a lottery player and that he could potentially spend most of his rookie season not officially playing. Charlotte fans are ready to see their lottery pick play, and holding him back may not be the best option.

If Kupchak is planning a mass rebuild, then Washington should get his shot. If Washington does play, it’s unclear to what position he would play. During the offseason so far, Coach James Borrego has hinted toward Washington playing both forward positions.

Charlotte has not gotten the chance to watch Washington play yet, as he remained out of Summer League, and did not work out for the team. After reports surfaced about Washington not playing in Summer League, the team stated that he would be ready for training camp.

Washington looks poised to do well during training camp. However he performs during training camp and the preseason will determine what his role will be during this upcoming season.

Washington does not deserve to spend his rookie season in the G-League; he deserves a chance to make some noise for Charlotte. Washington averaged 15.2 points and 7.5 rebounds in his last season with Kentucky. He is a proven scorer, and due to his size, he will likely serve a similar role to Miles Bridges‘.

Washington has the ability to be a decent shot-blocker, as he averaged 1.2 blocks per game in college. I believe he even has a nice three-point game; he finished last season shooting 42% from beyond the arc.

Charlotte has a tough rookie, and they should utilize him sooner rather than later. Don’t get me wrong, he has a lot to improve upon, but he deserves to get decent playing time after the first twenty games.

Coach Borrego must make sure that Washington improves his Basketball IQ and his free-throw percentage. Charlotte gets a lot of points from the charity stripe, so Washington needs to work on his free-throw game; he finished last season with a 66% free-throw percentage.

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Washington has a lot of skills that can help Charlotte with their possibly new small-ball lineup. I expect him to do well during training camp, and because he missed Summer League, Washington should see significant playing time during the preseason.