© USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks and Charlotte Hornets swapped powers forwards who signed contracts as restricted free agents this past summer. Dallas is moving on from Grant Williams to bring in P.J. Washington, in a swap of two players who have gone head-to-head a lot.

Here are the particulars:

Dallas Mavericks acquire: P.J. Washington, two future second-round picks

Charlotte Hornets acquire: Grant Williams, Seth Curry, top-2 protected 2027 Mavericks first-round pick

Note: Charlotte waived James Bouknight in order to complete this trade

Let’s dive in!

Dallas Mavericks

Incoming salary: $16.9 million in 2023-24

  • P.J. Washington (PF, three years, $46.5 million)

Outgoing salary: $16.4 million in 2023-24

  • Grant Williams (PF, four years, $53.3 million), Seth Curry (PG/SG, two years, $8 million, contract is non-guaranteed for 2024-25)

The Mavericks made it clear they wanted to upgrade their front court in the weeks approaching the trade deadline. Earlier in the day, Dallas acquired Daniel Gafford for backup center depth. In Washington, the Mavs added some power forward depth too.

Washington may start, or Jason Kidd may stick with Derrick Jones Jr. as his starting four. Either way, Washington is going to play a lot. He’s proven capable of playing well as either a starter or a reserve.

In a somewhat reduced role, the 6-foot-7 big man has still been productive for Charlotte. Washington has averaged 13.6 points and 5.3 rebounds in 29.2 minutes per game. He’s a more athletic player than Williams is, so Dallas may be able to deploy him more in the trap-and-recover schemes Kidd likes to employ on defense.

Dallas didn’t take on much long-term money here either. Washington makes more than Williams does, but he’s on a declining contract. That’ll help as the Mavericks fill out their roster around Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving in the coming seasons.

The downside to this trade is Dallas is out yet another first-round pick. And this pick stings more than some of the others, because it’s partially due to admitting sign-and-trading for Williams last summer was a mistake. The Mavs did get back two second-round picks in the deal, which helps balance out the draft capital some.

Curry was rarely playing regular minutes for Dallas, as younger players had passed him in the rotation.

Charlotte Hornets

Incoming salary: $16.4 million in 2023-24

  • Grant Williams (PF, four years, $53.3 million), Seth Curry (PG/SG, two years, $8 million, contract is non-guaranteed for 2024-25)

Outgoing salary: $16.9 million in 2023-24

  • P.J. Washington (PF, three years, $46.5 million)

Charlotte has begun another rebuild of their roster, while adding valuable draft capital. Williams should slide in and play the same role Washington was, as the top reserve big. It’s unclear if Curry will stick in Charlotte or not. If he does, he could provide some consistent shooting to a roster that is short on that skill.

In getting Williams, the Hornets acquired a player who has won a lot on his career. He has as much, if not more, playoff experience than anyone else on Charlotte’s roster.

Williams remains a solid defender, as long as he’s not tasked with switching out to the perimeter too often. Against most bigs, Williams does a nice job staying in front of them, and he’s strong enough to hold his ground too.

Despite things not working out with the Mavericks, Williams is still a good shooter. He’s hitting 37.6% of his 4.5 three-point attempts per game. Where things really fell apart was with Williams finishing in the paint. He’s fallen off from a solid 47% from floater range to just 33.3%. Williams is also missing more shots directly at the rim too. If that cleans up, he’ll be a productive rotation player on a solid contract.

Ultimately, the key to this deal for the Hornets was getting a very lightly-protected 2027 first-round pick. That pick is top-2 protected for the 2027 NBA Draft. And that just happens to be the year Luka Doncic has a player option for. Given how quickly things can change in the NBA, that’s a good just-in-case kind of bet for Charlotte.