Grade the Trade: Cleveland Cavaliers ignite Charlotte Hornets fire sale in bold proposal

Charlotte Hornets v Cleveland Cavaliers
Charlotte Hornets v Cleveland Cavaliers / Jason Miller/GettyImages
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Do the Cavaliers say yes?

On the season, P.J. Washington has continued to present his ability to impact both ends of the court after his breakout season in the wake of Ball's and Miles Bridges' absences from the team. Though Washington has returned to the second unit, he has averaged 12.7 points and 5.2 rebounds on 43/32/76 shooting splits over 34 games.

Washington is undeniably less efficient than desired, but his career 36 percent from deep could suggest that he can produce at a higher level in a new system. The Hornets have underperformed year after year, meaning Washington has not been in a spot to maximize any potential to impact winning. He is not a star that can carry a sorry roster to a successful season; rather, Washington serves best as a complementary piece to a well-developed roster. Even when he is shooting below his standards, he is a volume shooter with solid defensive effort.

If the Cavaliers are searching for a do-it-all wing, Washington should make sense, but he probably does not make the cut in the end. The potential for Washington is there, and perhaps he would have been a great addition in the offseason since the Cavs would have spent a full training camp and preseason to mold Washington into their schemes. Now, though, Cleveland cannot trust Washington as a one-size-fits-all option that can instantaneously influence winning.

At no fault of his own, the Hornets are not a winning franchise. Their roster construction and coaching have repeatedly placed them at the bottom of the conference, leaving Washington's development to the side. With enough time on a good team, Washington could play a substantial role on a real contender. This season, however, the Cavaliers do not have the luxury of taking a chance on Washington in the middle of a down year at the salary he has.

C-. . . Final Mock Trade Grade. P.J. Washington trade grade

With Hunter and O'Neale as two players with more proven potential and consistent shooting efficiency, Washington is a lower-end option with a high price. The Cavaliers need to make a trade to upgrade their three-point shooting if they hope to achieve greater postseason success, but Washington is not the right option.

This season has more weight than just another year of growth or playoff opportunities. Donovan Mitchell's contract extension decision will have major ripple effects for the franchise, and taking on a long-term contract in a regrettable trade would severely hamper Cleveland's negotiation strength in their efforts to secure the rest of Mitchell's prime being spent in Cleveland.

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