Thunder wave 2022 first-round pick TyTy Washington, he will be free agent

Houston Rockets v Washington Wizards

Houston Rockets v Washington Wizards

There’s a recent history of guards coming out of Kentucky doing better in the NBA than they looked under John Calipari in college: Shai Gilgeous‑Alexander, Devin Booker, Tyler Herro, De’Aaron Fox and Jamal Murray, to name a few.

TyTy Washington may not live up to that billing. He played sparingly in Houston last season, getting into 31 games, getting 14 minutes a night when he did get on the court, and struggling to play efficiently (although he put up impressive numbers in the G-League). With the Rockets roster getting a lot deeper at the one this season — signing Fred VanVleet and drafting Amen Thompson, who can play the one — Washington was out and was traded to Atlanta in the five-team Dillon Brooks deal, then the Hawks flipped him to Oklahoma City in the Patty Mills trade.

The Thunder have waived Washington, the team announced.

This makes Washington a free agent, but the situation is a little more complex. Because Washington is a first-round pick his $2.3 million for this season is fully guaranteed and the Thunder will have to pay it. However, Washington can be signed to a standard contract (except with the Thunder) or a two-way deal (except with the Hawks or Thunder). By waiving him, the Thunder do not owe Washington money in the 2024-25 season or 2025-26 (most first-round picks have those final two years picked up by a team).

Washington has shown potential. In the five games he played in the G-League last season he averaged 29.8 points per game (on just 43.7% shooting) with 7.2 assists per game. He struggled to translate that to the NBA level, where he shot 23.8% from 3 and struggled from all over the court. The Phoenix native does have potential for a team that wants to see if he can develop it.

We’ll watch to see if and where he gets picked up.