Hornets agree to three-year deal with P.J. Washington

PJ Washington, Charlotte Hornets, (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)
PJ Washington, Charlotte Hornets, (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) /

P.J. Washington’s excursion into restricted free agency has come to an end. The 25-year-old has agreed to a three-year contract worth up to $48 million with the Charlotte Hornets, according to reports. Washington was the last restricted free agent to remain unsigned.

This is an expected series of events as the market for Washington did not develop. It was just one week ago that Washington’s re-signing with Charlotte appeared likely. The restricted status combined with how the league as a whole has approached players this offseason all but guaranteed Washington returning to the Hornets.

Washington should slide back into the Hornets’ starting lineup. This will strengthen Charlotte’s starting five and give LaMelo Ball some much-needed help. With Washington officially back in the mix, the Hornets are much stronger now than they were just one day ago.

For Charlotte, it is about finding ways to put together a team that can improve in the short term while finding a way to be flexible in the long term. This three-year deal with Washington accomplishes both simultaneously. Having financial flexibility down the line will be crucial as Ball’s massive contract extension kicks in after this upcoming season.

The new deal for Washington also prevents from seeing two players leave next season as unrestricted free agents. If Washington were to sign the qualifying offer for this season, he would join Miles Bridges as one of two players who could end up elsewhere next summer. Finding a way to prevent two of the better players on their roster from possibly leaving in the same offseason should help keep things stable in Charlotte.

2022-23 was a career year for Washington, averaging 15.7 points, 4.9 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.1 blocks in 32.6 minutes per game. Reincorporating Washington into the starting lineup with Ball, Terry Rozier, Mark Williams, and recently drafted second-overall pick Brandon Miller should provide a solid base for the Hornets to work with.