PJ Washington - Not Expendable
Even though there was a chance that PJ Washington could have signed elsewhere this past offseason, the now former restricted free agent came back to the Charlotte Hornets on a three-year $46.5 million deal. While there could be an opportunity to trade Washington this season if they felt compelled to after the required time has passed (Washington cannot be traded until January 15, 2024), that temptation should be fought, as the Hornets need to do whatever they can to stabilize their roster's talent floor.
Washington may never be a star-caliber player in this league, but there is an opportunity for the Kentucky product to be a solid and productive player for the Hornets during the life of his recently signed free-agent contract. Going back to the beginning of the 2022-23 NBA season, the 25-year-old is averaging 15.4 points and 5 rebounds in 90 games (85 starts). Washington is averaging 44.2% from the field while making two threes per game at a 34.4% conversion rate during that span. This is a level of production that Charlotte needs to have around franchise cornerstone LaMelo Ball if they are ever going to escape the basement of the Eastern Conference.