Rockets Land Hornets’ P.J. Washington In NBA Trade Proposal

PJ Washington, Charlotte Hornets, NBA Trade Rumors
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Eventually, an NBA team will be forced to rebuild. It’s inevitable. Even the best teams of all time will age. In time, they’re going to have to start over. 

A few years back, it happened to the Houston Rockets. Longtime franchise player James Harden decided that the situation was untenable. He forced his way out of town. Three years later, the Rockets are putting the finishing touches on their rebuild. 

The Charlotte Hornets may be jealous. This team has been rebuilding for equally as long. In 2023-24, they still look like a rebuilding team. Could they send P.J. Washington to the Rockets? 

NBA Trade Proposal 

Charlotte Hornets Receive: G/F Victor Oladipo, C Jock Landale, 2024 First-Round Pick (Lottery Protected – BKN via HOU) 

Houston Rockets Receive: F/C P.J. Washington 

With that said, the Rockets’ improvement has been no accident. This team didn’t organically grow back into a competitive squad. The Rockets forced the issue last summer. 

They brought in Fred VanVleet, Dillon Brooks, and Jeff Green. The Rockets had been in the NBA’s cellar for three consecutive seasons. That was also by design. The plan in Houston was to tank for a few years, collect some lottery talent, and then spend their cap space on veterans. 

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: PJ Washington, Charlotte Hornets, Houston Rockets Updates

So far, the plan is working. Some fans would have preferred for the Rockets to let their young core figure it out. Fair enough. Still, it’s hard to deny that this team has made significant strides. Would adding Washington help them continue down that path? 

Why The Houston Rockets Do The Deal 

Green was a key contributor to this team at the beginning of the season. Recently, his play has declined. That’s understandable. Green is 37 – he should be getting spot minutes at this career stage. 

By contrast, Washington is 25. He can also plug right into Green’s role as a combo big. Washington can soak up minutes at the 4, but he may see more time at the 5 in Houston. He’ll allow the Rockets to run some spaced-out, switch-heavy lineups that ought to succeed. 

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: PJ Washington, Charlotte Hornets, Houston Rockets Updates

Meanwhile, Landale has been a disappointment this year. Oladipo hasn’t even seen the floor. Washington is worth the price of a lottery protected first to the Rockets. Should the Hornets part with him at that price? 

Why The Charlotte Hornets Do The Deal 

As it stands, the Nets are a lottery team. For this deal to work for the Hornets, this pick will have to have rolling conveyances. If it doesn’t fall to them in 2024, it should convert to a handful of second-rounders in 2025 (for example). 

Either way, flipping Washington for draft capital makes sense. He’s a useful utility player, but he’s evidently not helping Charlotte very much. They’re among the worst teams in the NBA. The Hornets have had some bad health luck, but the point holds. They should punt on the remainder of this year and collect some assets. 

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: PJ Washington, Charlotte Hornets, Houston Rockets Updates

That’s what they’re doing here. They’re also picking up a pair of expiring contracts. This deal helps the Hornets prepare for the short and long-term future. Hopefully, they’ll be able to stop rebuilding soon. 

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