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PJ Washington thinks Hornets have talent to make playoffs next season

PJ Washington, Hornets

Charlotte Hornets rookie forward PJ Washington was one of the surprises of the 2019-20 NBA season, quietly putting together a solid debut in the pros.

Despite Washington and the Hornets finishing 23-42 this season, including a non-invite to the NBA’s bubble, the former Kentucky product is hyping next year as the Charlotte’s time to shine.

Washington, 22, told Ben Pickman in Sports Illustrated that he sees the Hornets having enough talent to compete in the 2021 playoffs.

I think next season, we should be really good. Everybody’s invested in our process. Everybody’s been working hard. Everybody’s trying to do something here in Charlotte. So I see me and my teammates are having a great year. I don’t see us not making the playoffs. I feel like we have the talent to and we have the mindset to make the playoffs. So that’s one of our goals—making the playoffs and then trying to just compete at a very high level each and every night.

Besides Washington, the Hornets also find young players like forward Miles Bridges and guard Devonte’ Graham on the roster. Graham missed the cut as a finalist for the NBA’s Most Improved Player award, eventually won by New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram, but other players praised the second-year lead guard who averaged 18.2 points and 7.5 assists per game. Graham could be a legitimate All-Star in Year 3.

For Washington, the former 12th-overall pick and 6-foot-7 power forward averaged 12.2 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game in 58 appearances his rookie season, shooting 45.5 percent from the field and 37.4 percent from 3-point range.

Who knows who the Hornets will grab with the third overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, now slated for November after another postponement, but Charlotte is certainly stocking up on talent.