How the Cavaliers could afford to sign P.J. Washington

P.J. Washington, Charlotte Hornets. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)
P.J. Washington, Charlotte Hornets. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) /
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The Cleveland Cavaliers are not done building their roster. With only twelve guaranteed contracts on the books (plus Sam Merrill’s non-guaranteed deal) the Cavs will at least add one player, and perhaps as many as three before the season begins.

They also sit just $2.7 million below the luxury tax threshold, and with the team’s salary likely to get more expensive in the coming years with Evan Mobley and Donovan Mitchell up for new contracts, the team probably wants to stay out of the tax and delay the clock starting on the repeater tax.

Could the Cavaliers look to Charlotte to upgrade the roster?

Those two factors together mean the Cavs are most likely to fill their final roster spots with players signed to the minimum, putting the best available free agents out of reach. The Charlotte Hornets are the common theme with the open market; Kelly Oubre Jr., P.J. Washington and Christian Wood are all former Hornets who define the top of the market.

The assumption that it would be another team stepping in to sign one of those three players was tested over the weekend, when a rumor was circulated (it appears to have been started by Jake Weinbach) that the Cavaliers are interested in a sign-and-trade for power forward P.J. Washington.

How could the Cavaliers afford to sign P.J. Washington? Let’s take a closer look at the money involved and see how such a move could be pulled off.