2019 NBA Mock Draft: Full first round as lottery nears

(Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
(Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /
19 of 30
Kentucky PJ Washington (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
Kentucky PJ Washington (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) /

Kentucky. PJ Washington. 19. player. 29. . F

Age: 20
Height, Weight: 6-foot-8, 228 pounds
Slash Line: .522/.423/.663
Season Averages: 15.2 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 1.8 APG, 0.9 SPG, 1.2 BPG, 0.9 3PM

The San Antonio Spurs rarely own multiple first-round picks in a draft, as they usually do not send out players for picks. The 2011 draft-day deal for Kawhi Leonard was the last time that happened, before the 2018 deal, also featuring Leonard, that netted a protected first-round pick from the Toronto Raptors.

But, it starts with their own pick at 19th. They can add another young piece to the DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge-led core, and with Derrick White, Dejounte Murray, Lonnie Walker and Bryn Forbes as intriguing backcourt pieces, this pick goes towards the frontcourt.

PJ Washington was Kentucky’s standout player as a sophomore. His length and NBA body worked the post in school, resulting in 15.2 points and 7.6 rebounds. 1.2 blocks per game showed some ability to contest shots, as well, and he will likely play off as a power forward.

Athleticism is a potential drawback for Washington in school. Unless he does not improve shooting the basketball, it might keep him as a backup forward down the road. The Spurs usually find ways to highlight a player’s strengths, so if he becomes a capable defender and someone to stretch the floor, it can work in this organization’s favor.

If these drawbacks cause Washington to slide, maybe the New York Knicks find a way to grab him, but only if they move up from No. 55 or acquire a late first or early second-round selection.