After Miles Bridges put himself on track for unrestricted free agency in 2024 by accepting his qualifying offer as a restricted free agent last week, the Hornets will probably want to avoid putting P.J. Washington on a similar path, writes Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports. However, it remains to be seen whether the Hornets and Washington will be able to find common ground on a multiyear deal.
According to Fischer, coming into Summer League, league personnel believed that Washington and the Hornets remained far apart in their discussions on a four-year contract, though there was some optimism they’d come to terms after Summer League.
Marc Stein has reported that Washington is seeking $18MM+ annually, while Fischer previously suggested that the Charlotte forward may be looking for $20MM per year. In his latest article, Fischer says Washington still hasn’t received an offer from the Hornets that matches or exceeds what Isaiah Stewart got on his new extension with Detroit ($15MM in guaranteed money per year; up to $16MM annually with incentives).
Because teams around the NBA are essentially limited to mid-level money at this point, a sign-and-trade would be necessary to get Washington his desired salary from a non-Hornets team. While it’s not clear whether there’s a club out there with serious interest in such a scenario, Fischer says Charlotte would probably prefer a sign-and-trade over Washington accepting his qualifying offer.
Here’s more from Fischer:
- Before he signed his extension, Stewart had generated more trade inquiries in 2023 than any player on the Pistons‘ roster besides Cade Cunningham, sources tell Fischer. The fact that the big man signed a rookie scale extension so early in the offseason indicates that he’s not going anywhere anytime soon.
- With the Hornets undergoing an ownership change, there’s a sense in league circles that president of basketball operations Mitch Kupchak and head coach Steve Clifford could be on the hot seat in 2023/24, Fischer writes. Even if the Hornets’ new owners aren’t eager to make an immediate change, Kupchak and Clifford are each entering the final guaranteed year of their respective contracts, Fischer notes, so next offseason might be a logical time to shake things up anyway.
- According to Fischer, league personnel are optimistic that if Tyler Herro is included in a Damian Lillard trade with the Heat, the Trail Blazers will be able to flip Herro to a third team for at least a first-round pick.
- In case you missed it, we passed along several notes and rumors from Fischer on Wednesday.