There was a connection or two between the Cleveland Cavaliers and restricted free agent PJ Washington, but that now appears to be off the table. The expectation is that Washington will accept his qualifying offer and return to the Charlotte Hornets. This comes just a few days after the Cavs were mentioned as having expressed interest in the restricted free agent.
Making this work from Cleveland’s end was always going to be a bit of an obstacle. Washington would have to agree to a deal that would somewhat satisfy what he was looking for but could also fit into the Cavs’ current financial situation. The possibility of a sign-and-trade between Cleveland and Charlotte was possible. Although the Hornets may not have interest in the players Cleveland would have been willing to part with.
The reality is that PJ Washington does not fit with the current version of the Cavs. Cleveland’s route this past offseason was to add complementary players. Signing Max Strus and Georges Niang to deals that should bolster their overall roster depth. Perhaps next season, when Washington is an unrestricted free agent and after a potential trade of a certain big man, it might be able to work. But for now, Washington returning to the Hornets for this season is in his best interest. All he has to do is play well enough, and he will be able to sign that big-time free-agent contract he was looking for this summer.