Oklahoma City Thunder: 5 options for pick No. 21 in 2019 NBA Draft

Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images /
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Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images /

2. PJ Washington

In the summer of 2017, the Oklahoma City Thunder made a move widely applauded by NBA media, signing former Toronto forward Patrick Patterson to a multi-year contract. The former Kentucky player projected as a floor-spacing 4 on offense with the chops to hold up defensively as well. The fit seemed perfect.

Unfortunately for Patterson and the Thunder, the forward had knee surgery a month after signing the deal and has not been the same player since. Whether he will ever get back to that level is difficult to tell, but the Thunder need to find another option to fill that role.

They could do that by looking at another Kentucky forward in PJ Washington. The sophomore returned to school and elevated his game significantly, becoming the top offensive player for the Wildcats. He averaged 15.2 points per game by scoring all around the court, muscling his way inside to finish at the rim and uncorking a surprisingly consistent 3-point shot (42.3 percent).

Washington brings some things that Patterson never did, including his above-average passing vision and more versatility around the rim. He brings the same lack of athletic explosion, but found a way to thrive despite that. On a team with Russell Westbrook, it’s likely his sometimes inconsistent motor will be revved up. If so, Washington would be a highly skilled and competent piece to add to the frontcourt.