Is TyTy Washington Jr. the steal of the 2022 NBA Draft for the Houston Rockets after going 29th overall?

The guard played for the Kentucky Wildcats for only one season after being a five-star recruit by ESPN, Rivals and 247Sports. He played 29.2 minutes per game on average while putting up 12.5 points, 3.9 assists and 3.5 rebounds per contest.

Washington was selected to the All-SEC Second Team and the SEC All-Freshman Team. He was also a semifinalist for the Jerry West Award and a finalist for the Kyle Macy Award honoring the nation’s best freshman. He was previously selected for the Jordan Brand Classic, a game that recognizes the best high school athletes in the country.

But will his high school and college success translate to the NBA?

A lot will depend on how accurate he is when passing the ball. With the Wildcats, Washington set a new school record with 17 assists in one game, surpassing former NBA All-Star John Wall’s 16.

When Washington declared for the draft, UK head coach John Calipari said in a statement that the guard’s best basketball days were in front of him and that he is a playmaking guard who has the ability to play on and off the ball:

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“I’m excited for TyTy and his family because I know with his work ethic, his ability to play within himself and allow the game to come to him, that he will have the opportunity to be another one of our guys to find success in that league.”

Rockets fans have had a chance to check out Washington's potential at the Las Vegas NBA 2K23 Summer League. In his debut against Paolo Banchero and the Orlando Magic, Washington had seven points, four rebounds and three assists.

Let's now make some bold predictions for TyTy Washington Jr. as he prepares for his rookie season with the Rockets in 2022-23.

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TyTy Washington Jr. Rockets rookie season predictions

3. He will struggle in the beginning of his first season

Most rookies need more time than others to adapt to the big league. Washington  is used to playing against college players, but will his game translate to the NBA?

He is not as athletic as other guards his size, so he will need to get some work done off the court in order to face bigger and stronger defenders.

It might be a culture shock, but Washington can learn from the more veteran players on the Rockets squad on how to play against bigger opponents.

2. He will earn solid minutes off the bench throughout the season

Washington has the potential to become one of the most important reserves for Houston this year. He can become the backup point guard depending on where Dennis Schröder ends up in free agency.

With the Rockets still in rebuilding mode, the best way to develop their players is to let them play.

Houston has a good depth of young guards in Kevin Porter Jr., Jalen Green and Josh Christopher, so the rookie starts a bit behind them in the rotation, but impacting in limited minutes could be the key to a spot in the rotation.

1. He could be a solid sixth man in the league, maybe a starter in the right situation

Washington was compared to Andre Miller by and to Reggie Jackson by NBC Sports, two players with solid careers in the NBA, even if not All-Stars. Can Washington find his starting spot? Yes, but it might take some time.

Either way, TyTy Washington Jr. can certainly have a spot on an NBA roster. Should he improve his physical strength and defense, as well as keeping up or even getting better as a playmaker, the former Wildcat will earn his place and payday among the elite guards in the league.