"We are a team in transition and need to play our young guys," interim Toronto general manager Wayne Embry said in a release. The Raptors fired Rob Babcock on Thursday and named Embry interim GM.
Toronto will get a second-round pick in this year's draft that the Hornets acquired from Miami and New Orleans' second rounder in 2009. The Hornets still have two first-round picks and one second-round pick in the June draft.
"While we went out to support our team and get more help, we didn't want to damage anything," Hornets general manager Jeff Bower said. "We didn't jeopardize our first-round picks, we didn't want to hurt our salary cap flexibility and we didn't want to add a player that didn't understand what the coach wanted and was trying to create here."
Williams played for New Orleans coach Byron Scott for over three seasons when the two were in New Jersey. He'll fill a role vacated last week when Chris Andersen was dismissed for violating the NBA's drug policy.
"Aaron will be able to step right in and provide us with an inside presence off the bench," Bower said. "We've been looking for someone to help us to solidify our frontline, and he definitely fits the bill."
Bower said he wouldn't rule out Williams being available for the Hornets' game against Chicago on Wednesday "if we can complete all the details that go along with the trade," including a physical exam.
Williams, an 11-year NBA veteran, is averaging 6.2 points and 4.0 rebounds in 612 career games. He is in the last year of his contract.