Update Revealed on PJ Washington Contract Talks

One of the most notable names left on the free agent market is PJ Washington of the Charlotte Hornets. He's a restricted free agent, so his options are somewhat limited, and according to the latest report, the two sides are at a "stalemate."

Many observers are confused about how Washington is still unsigned. In his last 40 games last season, he shot 36% from three, with 17 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists, one steal and one block in 34 minutes per game. 

He was thought to be a key piece of the Hornets' core going forward, but there just doesn't seem to be any urgency from the team to bring him back... at least not at the terms he's looking for. 

Washington, 24, is said to be asking for a deal in the $18M AAV range; but with talks at a standstill, his only other option is to simply accept the Hornets' $8.5M qualifying offer, and become an unrestricted free agent next summer. Fellow power forward Miles Bridges has already done the same, earlier this summer. Can the Hornets really afford to have both walk into unrestricted free agency next year? 

Washington is going into his 5th NBA season, and boosted his scoring in 2022-23 to 15.7 points — 50% better than the previous season. His numbers were strong at the power forward spot. 

It's no wonder that fans are wondering how a journeyman guard got signed by the Hornets today, before Washington. 

Photo: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports