AUGUST 29: The Hornets have officially re-signed Washington, per NBA.com’s transaction log.
AUGUST 26: Restricted free agent forward P.J. Washington has agreed on a new three-year, $48MM deal to stay with the Hornets, LIFT Sports Management agent Kevin Bradbury and Washington Sports Group’s Paul Washington Sr. tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).
Washington was the only standard unsigned restricted free agent this summer and one of the most prominent available names in all of free agency, ranking 11th on our top-50 list.
There was some concern earlier in the offseason that Washington and the Hornets wouldn’t be able to come to terms on an agreement. Forward Miles Bridges and Charlotte didn’t agree on a long-term deal and he ended up signing his qualifying offer, putting himself on track for unrestricted free agency next year. Washington was believed to have been considering a similar route.
Other teams, such as the Cavaliers, were also monitoring the Washington situation. Now, the Hornets will bring back the 25-year-old on a three-year deal that pays $16MM annually.
Washington is an integral part of the Hornets’ promising young core that includes LaMelo Ball, 2023 No. 2 overall pick Brandon Miller, Mark Williams and more. The Kentucky product averaged a career-high 15.7 points per game last season. The Hornets drafted Washington with the No. 12 overall pick in 2019 and he started 73 games for Charlotte last year.
The Washington signing will give the Hornets a packed roster. He’ll be the 13th Charlotte player on a guaranteed deal, with JT Thor, Kobi Simmons and Frank Ntilikina all signed to non-guaranteed or partially guaranteed contracts.
James Nnaji, the No. 31 overall pick in 2023, hasn’t officially signed (though he may be stashed). The Hornets also have two players on two-way deals (Leaky Black and Amari Bailey), and Angelo Allegri, Tre Scott, Nathan Mensah and R.J. Hunter are all reportedly joining the Hornets on training camp deals. So while Charlotte has some flexibility, there are more moves to come from the Queen City.