PJ Washington remains a restricted free agent, but if he fails to reach an agreement with the Charlotte Hornets, the Cleveland Cavaliers could be interested in making a move for him.
However, it’s worth noting that having “interest” doesn’t actually mean the Cavs will give him an offer sheet or try to pull off a sign-and-trade for him. In the end, a lot of things have to go in Cleveland’s way to make it happen.
According to the latest updates, while the Cavs are definitely interested in Washington and have expressed that desire to get him to Cleveland, there has been no meaningful discussions with the Hornets for a potential sign-and-trade, per Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. Aside from the rumors that Washington is seeking a deal that would pay him $18 million annually, there’s also the question what Charlotte would want in return if they do engage in a potential trade.
Sure Cleveland has Jarrett Allen as a trade piece, but Fedor expressed doubt that the Cavs would be willing to dangle him for Washington since the forward doesn’t seem to be an upgrade over the one-time All-Star.
“If Washington would be willing to take less money — a contract in the same range as [Lauri] Markkanen’s $15-million-per-year number in 2021 — the salaries of Dean Wade and Rubio would theoretically work financially. Toss in some second-round picks as sweeteners and there’s an alternate trade framework. But would it satisfy Charlotte?” Fedor reasoned out in his latest report.
Jackson Stone ·
In the end, the Hornets have all the leverage since they can match any offer sheet that comes PJ Washington’s way. If they don’t reach a deal, Charlotte still has the final call if they’ll accept a sign-and-trade offer for the 24-year-old big man.
As for the Cavs, they can only observe the situation and assess if there will be any real opportunity to trade for Washington. As things currently stand, though, there seems to be none.