Mock trade proposal has P.J. Washington situation ending for Hornets

P.J. Washington, Charlotte Hornets. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports
P.J. Washington, Charlotte Hornets. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports /

P.J. Washington’s restricted free-agency experience has not gone well. After receiving a qualifying offer from the Charlotte Hornets before the onset of the free agent signing period, there has been little action involving the soon-to-be 25-year-old forward. Plenty of rumors and speculation have surrounded Washington, with nothing tangible coming to light.

The possibility exists that Washington could sign the qualifying offer and return to Charlotte to become an unrestricted free agent next year. But if that is an option not on the table from Washington’s point of view, a mock trade proposal could see this saga coming to a much-needed end. The proposal, which comes from James Piercey of NBA Analysis Network, has Washington going to Orlando in exchange for Jonathan Isaac and second-round picks in 2024 and 2025.

This trade is less about what the Hornets get in return and more about doing Washington a favor. Issac has appeared in only 11 games after missing the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons due to an ACL injury. His return in the 2022-23 season was cut short again with an injury, a torn left adductor muscle which required season-ending surgery.

In 147 career games, Isaac averages 9.0 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.4 blocks, and 1.1 steals per game. Issac would be a flier-type addition with the hope he could carve out a role off the bench if he stays healthy. The latter part has been an obstacle that he has been unable to clear the past few years, so there is a good chance that Charlotte would not get much out of him. That is assuming they can get anything at all from him.

Taking a player classified as a flier at best, in addition to two second-round selections, is not an ideal return for a player as talented as Washington. The reality is, they may not get anything resembling a haul for him on the trade market. If Washington is not returning to the Hornets, it is best to get something, as little as this is, for him and end a restricted free-agency excursion that has carried on for far too long.