Charlotte Hornets forward PJ Washington is fresh off of the best season of his pro career. Washington set new career highs in points per game, three-pointers per game, and assists per game, and his play was one of few bright spots for the Hornets during the 2022-23 NBA campaign. So why has Washington yet to sign a new contract with the Hornets or with another team?
A recent rumor indicates that Washington's contract asking price explains why he's still on the market, per an article from Marc Stein:
“Why have you heard so much about Thybulle and Williams in restricted free agency rather than Charlotte’s PJ Washington? Simple. The Celtics have the aforementioned payroll considerations to cope with and the Blazers are in the midst of dealing with a trade request from Damian Lillard and thus have more to ponder than most teams when it comes to matching an offer.
The Hornets, meanwhile, would be retaining Washington at a total bargain if he signed a four-year, $54 million offer sheet from a team pitching a deal that starts at the MLE. It’s believed that Washington is seeking a deal that pays in the $18 million range annually.
Washington’s leverage: He’ll become an unrestricted agent next summer if he elects to play out this season on Charlotte’s $8.5 million qualifying offer.”
PJ Washington, 24, has played four years in the NBA, all as a member of the Charlotte Hornets franchise. He averaged 15.7 points, 4.9 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 0.9 steals, 1.1 blocks, 1.5 turnovers, and 2.6 personal fouls per game across 73 games this season (all starts).