Very few things went right last year in Charlotte, as the Hornets finished with their second-lowest win total since their rebrand that took place before the 2014-15 season. If the Hornets are going to avoid a similar outcome, they will not some meaningful contributions from players not named LaMelo Ball. One such player? P.J. Washington. At least according to NBA.com’s Shaun Powell. Washington was Charlotte’s entry on the list of featuring 1 player on each NBA team who must take a leap in 2023-24.
Washington is entering his fifth year in the league and recently signed a new contract with the Hornets that will extend his stay for another three years. The Kentucky product averaged a career-high 15.7 points on 5.9 made field goals and two three-pointers per game in 73 games played. An impressive step forward in his four-season but more is needed if Charlotte is going to be a much more competitive team this year.
"“Freshly signed to a 3-year, $48 million extension, he needs to shed inconsistency to justify the financial commitment. The 25-year-old power forward dropped hints of being a reliable player at times last season. Charlotte doesn’t anticipate anything along the lines of the 43-pointer he had last March against OKC, but better rebounding (4.9 last year) isn’t asking too much. Go deeper.”"
It is very possible that Washington can take the leap that the Hornets need in order to be better this year. Washington is still only 25 years old and has shown some level of production that is easy to picture improving as time goes on.
The difference between Charlotte’s entry on this list and the others on the list is that Washington is not being counted on to be a franchise cornerstone but rather a complimentary player to an already established star. If Washington can take the leap that he is more than capable of, paired with a healthy season from Ball and contributions from the other two veterans on the roster, Charlotte could certainly be a more interesting team than most expect in this upcoming season.