The 2022 NBA Draft is less than 72 hours away. Hot Hot Hoops and all of the other 29 sister SB Nation NBA sites partook in an SB Nation Blogger Mock Draft. No-pre-draft trades occurred, so the Miami Heat remained at No. 27.
“With the No. 27 selection in the 2022 NBA Blogger Draft, Hot Hot Hoops selects TyTy Washington, guard, Kentucky,” - Adam Silver on June 21, probably.
“Man, Hot Hot Hoops with a great pick!”
“Steal of the draft: TyTy Washington! Wow! What a selection by HHH!”
“Washington, even at No. 27, will certainly make the Heat perenniel champions!”
“The Miami Heat are 2023, 2024, 2025.............’38 champions!!!”
- NBA Draft Evaluators/The Simpsons writers who seemingly predict everything correctly, hopefully.
Okay, enough fantasizing. Jokes aside, we selected TyTy Washington with the No. 27 pick in the blogger mock draft. Before I dig into the weeds for the reason why, let’s give some additional context surrounding the pick itself.
- Notable players already selected: Dalen Terry, Justin Lewis, Jaden Hardy, EJ Liddell, Kendall Brown, Jalen Williams
- Notable players on the board: Washington, Blake Wesley, Bryce McGowens, Walker Kessler, Wendell Moore Jr., Christian Braun, Patrick Baldwin Jr., Kennedy Chandler, Jake LaRavia, etc.
Without further ado, let’s get into the why:
Guard | 6’3” | 195 lbs. | Freshman | Age: 20
2021-22 stats (31 games): 12.5 PPG | 3.5 RPG | 3.9 APG | 1.3 SPG | 45.1 FG% | 35.0 3P% | 52.8 TS% | 19.3 PER
Why TyTy Washington?
I’ve been on record saying drafting strictly for need in an NBA Draft can be slightly overrated, depending on the circumstance. It can tempt teams to reach while passing up on a polished prospect or one with higher upside. Depending on who’s available, sometimes selecting a prospect to address a positional/schematic need works! But in the NBA — where player movement is so rampant with so much roster fluctuation from season-to-season — selecting upside/value over need is typically my preferred route.
Here, I dabbled into all of the above — well, kind of!
As a consensus top-3 point guard in the 2022 draft class, Washington was easily the best player on the board at No. 27, in my opinion. Outside of Kyle Lowry, Miami lacks true playmakers. That was evident throughout the postseason. For the most part, there was a massive creation burden on Jimmy Butler’s shoulders — not only creating for himself, but for others too. He excelled at it, but was an unsustainable formula that ultimately — among other things — led to Miami’s demise, especially in the halfcourt.
Washington, meanwhile, has a case to be the class’ best playmaker despite getting secondary ball-handling duties behind Sahvir Wheeler at Kentucky. Washington boasted excellent court-vision and can accurately make every pass you’d like a lead creator to make: He can hit backdoor cutters, short rollers, throw lob passes and rifle cross-court skip passes to open shooters — all with good velocity and touch.
Washington has one of the best in-between games in the class. He featured great change-of-pace that helped set up his lethal floater and pull-up mid-range jumper. He was forced to take those in-part due to Kentucky’s antiquated spacing, as well as his lack of sheer explosiveness (his only super noticeable flaw?). Per CBB Analytics, Washington shot 48.2 percent on mid-range attempts (D-1 avg.: 35.0%) and 47 percent in the paint (D-1 avg.: 43.7 percent), showcasing quality touch inside-the-arc even when he didn’t generate much space.
The 6-foot-3 guard shot 35.0 percent from 3-point range (3.3 attempts), and that’s accounting for his midseason leg injury he suffered in Feb. (He was shooting 37.1 percent on 3.1 attempts pre-injury).
Washington has a smooth, quick release and looked comfortable both off the catch and off-the-dribble pre-injury.
Defensively, he moved his feet well and kept ballhandlers in front, forcing tough jumpers. Washington has good dexterity while his length (6-foot-8 wingspan) helped generate turnovers.
To me, with a 36-year-old Kyle Lowry clearly past his physical prime, nabbing Washington at the tail-end of the first round as the presumptive heir apparent would be phenomonal value. Miami has other needs — such as additional frontcourt/wing depth behind Butler/Tucker — but Washington was a prospect that’s too good to pass up, even with the potential injury red flag. Add him now, figure the rest out later.
Pat Riley, a Kentucky alumnus, has a recent history with plucking players from Kentucky: Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro. Both worked out well, right? Washington isn’t apart of Klutch, so there’s no reason to believe Riley wouldn’t extract another....unless, you know, he likes another prospect better! Duh!
That’s my case. What do you think about Washington at 27? Comment below!