After averaging 10.8 points and 5.7 rebounds in 27.4 minutes per game, Kentucky freshman forward P.J. Washington made the decision earlier this month to go through the NBA draft process without hiring an agent. Washington, and other players in his position, have until May 30 (NCAA deadline) to withdraw their names and return to school should they choose to do so.
There has been some speculation that Washington is leaning towards remaining in the draft pool, something that was refuted by his father in a story written by Larry Vaught of Lex18-TV.
“We’ve got the combine and we will make a decision after that,” Paul Washington said. “As of now, nothing has changed. Until you hear it from P.J., nothing is official no matter what you might read or hear from others. That’s just speculation because, believe me, nothing has changed.”
P.J. Washington is one of three Kentucky underclassmen who are going through the process while preserving their collegiate eligibility, with Wenyen Gabriel and Jarred Vanderbilt also not hiring an agent. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Kevin Knox and Hamidou Diallo have all decided to forego the remainder of their eligibility. There are obviously some things to figure out when it comes to the 2018-19 roster, with Kentucky adding yet another highly-regarded recruiting class in the summer.
But Washington, Gabriel and Vanderbilt all have the time to work through everything, and the feedback received from workouts with NBA teams and next month’s combine will undoubtedly help. It would be wise to use all the time afforded to them before making a decision, and it’s clear that in the case of Washington that’s exactly how this process will be approached.
“I don’t understand why this is such a big deal to some people. Maybe they don’t understand the process,” Paul Washington said. “We didn’t listen to everybody when P.J. was picking a college. Why would we listen to others now? We will help him with the information but he will decide what he wants to do after being able to gather all this information that is available to players now.”