Does mock trade involving P.J. Washington make sense for Hornets?

P.J. Washington, Charlotte Hornets (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)
P.J. Washington, Charlotte Hornets (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) /

The restricted free agency of P.J. Washington does not appear to be coming to an end any time soon. But could the Charlotte Hornets look to have it reach its conclusion via a sign-and-trade deal? This comes from a mock trade appearing on Piston Powered which discusses whether or not this would work from Detroit’s perspective.

The hypothetical deal as proposed by Aaron Kellerstrass is a straight-up one-for-one swap. Going to Detroit is Washington via a sign-and-trade while the Hornets receive Marvin Bagley in return. There is a solid case as to why the Hornets would do this deal. Being able to get out from under of having to pay Washington, something they have not felt inclined to do as of yet, and instead carrying a cost-controlled backup has its benefits.

Bagley is only set to make just over $4 million than Washington’s unsigned qualifying offer ($8.5 million) for the next two seasons. Considering how far apart the two sides are in Washington’s case, this would align more with what the Hornets were willing to offer him, somewhere in the $50-52 million range. Washington was seeking substantially more than that, as it was reported previously that he wanted something closer to $20 million per season. This was simply never going to happen and there is a reason the Hornets have operated in the manner they have this offseason. It does not appear that Washington’s stay in Charlotte, should it continue, will be a lengthy one.

While this trade makes sense from a long-term financial standpoint, roster-wise it really does not. Bagley is a fine backup center and those are valuable. However, the Hornets currently employ Nick Richards as Williams’ backup, and he signed a three-year extension with Charlotte earlier this year. Adding another center into their current group of big men would result in a logjam with players unnecessarily taking minutes from each other.

So does this mock trade make sense for the Hornets? While finding a way to move Washington via a sign-and-trade does, the return does not. Ultimately the same conclusion was also found from Detroit’s point of view as the conclusion there was that the Pistons should stay the course and not take on the future expected contract of Washington. The Hornets would be wise to follow a similar path as they too are working their way back towards Eastern Conference relevance.