Laying out the trade details
With De'Andre Hunter as one of Cleveland's top trade targets, the Cavs are likely willing to spend money to win, making Washington's $16.8 million salary this season within their range to match. Additionally, Washington is a cheaper, younger option than Hunter with a safer injury history.
As much improvement as Isaac Okoro has displayed this season, his coming restricted free agency still makes him one of the Cavs' most valuable trade assets. For the Hornets, adding a young wing with a history as a top-tier perimeter defender would be a perfect acquisition to pair with LaMelo Ball.
Since entering Cleveland's starting lineup in the wake of Darius Garland and Evan Mobley being sidelined since December, Okoro has showcased his value as a starting wing defender. With the Cavaliers, though, finding a replacement for Okoro with more offensive lethality may be the team's best chance to push toward the Finals.
The Hornets have allowed an average of 119.9 opponent points per game this season, sitting twenty-fourth in the NBA in that category. Conversely, the Cavs have the second-best opponents points per game at 109.7, and Okoro has been a major contributor to this success. While the Hornets may hope for first-round draft compensation in exchange for Washington, his price tag makes him a lower-end trade target as a plethora of veteran talents remain on the market.
Placing Okoro next to Ball alleviates many of Charlotte's problems, and they will have full control over retaining Okoro if they are happy with the pairing. Considering the reluctance from the Hornets to re-sign Washington after drafting Brandon Miller second overall at the same position, Okoro is far from a bad foundation of a package for Charlotte.
As for the Cavaliers, does P.J. Washington guarantee an answer to the questions looming over Cleveland?