Analyst: Western Conference team could steal P.J. Washington

PJ Washington, Charlotte Hornets (Photo by Joshua Gateley/Getty Images)
PJ Washington, Charlotte Hornets (Photo by Joshua Gateley/Getty Images) /

After signing Miles Bridges to his qualifying offer, the Charlotte Hornets will now turn their attention to P.J. Washington, a restricted free agent. June 5 will be when restricted free agents can begin signing offer sheets from teams around the league, giving fans just 48 more hours before they see some movement.

As a restricted free agent, the Hornets have the right to match any offer sheet Washington signs. The question is, where will Charlotte draw the line? How much is too much for them to feel comfortable matching? And what would they do if Washington left the franchise with nothing coming back in return?

Those are questions multiple teams around the NBA are asking themselves right now as they try to navigate the free agency period. Of course, not every player is coming off the season Washington had, where he proved himself as a capable starter at the forward position. It’s that improvement that has Sports Illustrated’s James Plowright questioning whether the San Antonio Spurs could emerge as potential suitors for Washington.

"“The Spurs have the largest amount of cap space remaining, easily enough to sign PJ Washington to a contract up to $25 million which the Hornets would struggle to match. San Antonio’s power forward room lacks depth, with second year forward Jeremy Sochan being the only recognised four on the roster,” Plowright wrote. “Washington’s versatility to play both front court positions would fit well next to the incoming Victor Wembanyama who might be overpowered at times playing center. A three year deal above $55 million would put the Hornets in a situation where they may consider letting Washington go and and pursuing other options, such as Grant Williams.”"

As Plowright notes, it would take a significant offer for the Hornets to balk at potentially matching, which is why a team like the Spurs – who have cap space to burn – are a risk of sealing away one of Charlotte’s most consistent performers. Still, the Hornets will likely look to retain P.J. Washington unless the rumors linking them with Grant Williams come to fruition.

Next. 3 Reasons Hornets should target Grant Williams in free agency. dark