Mavericks should pounce on trade for 24-year-old amid rumors of contract issues

The Dallas Mavericks should look to pounce on a sign-and-trade for PJ Washington, as he and the Charlotte Hornets are reportedly running into contract troubles.
Dallas Mavericks, PJ Washington, NBA Trade Rumors
Dallas Mavericks, PJ Washington, NBA Trade Rumors / Sam Hodde/GettyImages

The Dallas Mavericks currently have 14 full-time players on their roster. With 14 players in tow, they're still on the hunt to fill the 15th roster spot. Additionally, Dallas is reportedly still gauging the trade market, particularly looking to upgrade at the center position.

Recently, it's been reported that free agent forward PJ Washington and the Charlotte Hornets are at an impasse in regard to a contract extension. Brett Siegel of Clutch Points reiterated that Washington and the Hornets are at a 'stalemate' and negotiations aren't going anywhere.

Mavericks should pounce on trade for PJ Washington amid rumors of contract issues with Hornets

Washington can still sign the $8 million qualifying offer the Hornets offered at the beginning of the offseason, but it seems like he may be holding out for a larger deal nearing $20 million per season.

Although signing Washington may be out of the question for Dallas due to salary restraints, a trade, or even sign-and-trade involving big man Christian Wood, could be an intriguing proposition.

For reference, a sign-and-trade would include Wood signing a three-year deal worth around $30 million with the Hornets. (For sign-and-trades to work, players must sign a contract for three-plus seasons.) As for Washington, a four-year $50 million contract could work as far as salary cap space goes.

Despite Washington aiming for $20 million annually, the free-agent market has dried up. Only two teams remain with cap room, and both of those teams have less than a million to spend.

Washington realistically has two options - sign the qualifying offer worth $8 million and become an unrestricted free agent in 2024, or seek a trade out of Charlotte now.

If this hypothetical sign-and-trade were to go through, both the Hornets and Mavericks would benefit. Wood didn't fit what the Mavs were looking for this past season, and this summer proved to be an indicator of that.

The Mavs used this offseason to pursue defense-first forwards and bigs - namely Grant Williams, Dereck Lively II, Olivier-Maxence Prosper, and Richaun Holmes. Although Wood provides valuable offensive contributions, defense is not his calling card.

The Hornets have some solid big men, but no one player really stands out. Mark Williams, Nick Richards, Kai Jones, and James Nnaji have potential but are fairly unproven at this stage in their career. Additionally, the aforementioned players are all plus-athletes with unrefined offensive games.

Adding Wood to the front-court rotation would make some sense in Charlotte. Besides Washington, no Charlotte big averaged double-digit points.

As for Dallas, Washington would be yet another 3-and-D contributor. Somewhat miscast in Charlotte at times as a small-ball five, Washington could comfortably play either forward spot in Dallas.

Washington could slide down to the three alongside Williams or Kleber, or play the four alongside Tim Hardaway Jr. or Josh Green. With Washington on the roster, the Mavs would be increasingly switchable on defense.