Hornets reportedly sign forward P.J. Washington to 3-year, $48 million contract

P.J. Washington was the Hornets' No. 12 pick in 2019. (AP Photo/Rusty Jones)
P.J. Washington was the Hornets' No. 12 pick in 2019. (AP Photo/Rusty Jones)

Veteran forward P.J. Washington will reportedly return to the Charlotte Hornets on a new three-year, $48 million contract, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Washington, who the Hornets drafted No. 12 overall in 2019, averaged a career-high 15.7 points per game in 2022 and added 4.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. He was a restricted free agent this summer.

Washington's situation with the Hornets cast a shadow on an offseason that already included the addition of No. 2 pick Brandon Miller and the controversial return of forward Miles Bridges, who will miss 10 games after the NBA suspended him for 30 after his domestic violence allegations. The resolution with Washington, though, clears up some of the issues Charlotte faced before the 2023-24 season.

Now, Washington will lead a front court alongside Bridges with Miller and $260 million man LaMelo Ball in the backcourt. The Hornets also added Miller's former AAU teammate, Nick Smith Jr., with the No. 27 pick of the 2023 NBA Draft.

Charlotte hasn't made the postseason since 2015 and now enters its first season under new ownership after Michael Jordan sold his stake in the franchise this offseason. Washington is a key piece of the team's future after he's averaged at least 10.3 points per game every season he's played in the NBA. The Hornets are now in their second season with Steve Clifford at the helm and are really only competing against the Atlanta Hawks and the Miami Heat in the Southeast Division.