Now that the Clippers’ 2020 season has reached its disappointing end, 213Hoops will work through the roster player-by-player for our “Exit Interview” series. Today’s exit interview features sixth man Lou Williams.

Basic Information

Height: 6’1″
Weight: 175 lbs
Position: Guard
Age: 33 (turns 34 in two weeks)
Years in NBA: 15

Key Stats: In 65 appearances for the Clippers, played 28.7 minutes per game and averaged 18.2 points, 5.6 assists, 3.1 rebounds, and 2.8 turnovers while shooting 41.8% from the field and 35.8% from deep.

In the playoffs, played 26. minutes per game in the Clippers’ 13 games, averaging 12.8 points, 4.2 assists, and 3.2 rebounds while shooting 42.5% from the field and 23.5% from deep.

Contract Status: Lou has an expiring contract worth $8,000,000. The Clippers would have his bird rights to re-sign him in free agency next summer.

Expectations

It’s no secret what Williams is capable of: he’s a professional scorer. What is maybe a better-kept secret is his ability to create for others. Far from simply a second-unit chucker, Williams is a quality pick-and-roll passer who can not only hit the screener with a pocket pass but also torn the corner to attack downhill and find teammates when the help comes. It’s no mistake that this was his third straight season leading the team in assists–though perhaps he shouldn’t be the best distributor on a team with championship aspirations.

Defensively, Williams is a net negative, but this Clippers squad had the luxury of sufficient star power and depth where they didn’t need Williams on the floor despite his offensive firepower. For stretches against 2nd units, he’s fine, and the Clippers have enough elite defenders to hide him in a lot of situations. Closing games, Williams provides a huge boost to the team’s offense but the team also had the defensive-minded Patrick Beverley and the sharp-shooting Landry Shamet for situational use at guard–a wealth of options for Doc Rivers.

Reality

Lou has been remarkably consistent over his three years as a Clipper, and 2020 was no different. His scoring production dipped slightly, but understandably as the arrival of Paul George and Kawhi Leonard caused his usage rate to decrease notably. Williams also shot more spot up threes this year than last, hitting a stellar 40.9%. He was the Clippers’ best distributor all season and brought them an undeniable sharpness in facilitation that was lacking when he was off the floor.

In the playoffs, Lou struggled with the one thing he’s best at: scoring. Against the Denver Nuggets, Williams averaged just 10 points per game while shooting a horrendous 35.4% from the field and just 14.8% from deep. It’s hard to assess exactly why that happened. Lou–and players of his archetype–tend to struggle in the playoffs against better, lengthier defenses, but Lou managed to get off a lot of good looks against the Nuggets. In the regular season, he shot 42% on wide-open threes, getting 1.3 attempts per game. In 7 games against Denver, he was 0-6. I mentioned above that Lou shot 40.9% on catch-and-shoot threes in the regular season; against Denver, he hit 2-14 for 14%. As the series wore on, he even missed layups. “Lou’s efficiency drops off in the playoffs” doesn’t explain what we saw this year, and there should be hope that whatever happened–some combination of a cold stretch, a small sample size, and bubble weirdness–was flukey.

Even with Lou’s individual struggles, it’s clear that his presence as an offensive threat and facilitator still boosted the team’s offense. The Clippers had an offensive rating of 114.5 with Williams on the floor against Denver, compared to a putrid 94.2 when he sat. It’s remarkable when you consider that Williams spent the majority of his minutes with Montrezl Harrell, possibly the worst player in the playoffs this year. Against Denver, the team had an offensive rating of 102.3 and a defensive rating of 108.6 when Harrell and Williams played together, but a dominant 130.3 offensive rating and 92.7 defensive rating when Williams was on the court while Harrell sat. Lou isn’t solely responsible for that boost–those minutes largely came alongside the Clippers’ starters–but the team’s main combinations performed best with Williams at guard even as he failed to hit shots.

The bigger problem with Williams this year was his fit with the Clippers’ other guards. Just as I discussed in the case of Patrick Beverley, the Clippers’ guards are individually good players who don’t quite combine to bring the right combinations of two-way role player production to support their stars. Williams was the team’s second point guard, but with Beverley prone to injuries and foul trouble, Lou isn’t a good fit in the starting lineup where his defensive weaknesses are more exposed and he can’t bring his scoring punch off the bench. Finding a backup point guard who is good enough to fill in as a starter for Pat and has the size and defensive ability to work next to the undersized Lou on the second unit is a tall task–and even if you found that guy, it would be even harder for that lineup to be successful defensively with Landry Shamet bumped over to small forward. Plus, with George and Leonard starting at shooting guard and small forward, would there be enough minutes to keep Beverley, Williams, Shamet, and a quality backup point guard satisfied?

Future with Clippers

Lou has an expiring deal worth $8M for next season, and he’s turning 34 in a couple of weeks. While nobody plays forever, Lou certainly hasn’t showed any signs of slowing down and has played some of his best basketball in his 30s as a Clipper. It’s perfectly reasonable to expect him to play at a high level for at least 2-3 more years.

But will that be as a Clipper? Williams has said that he wants to finish his career here, and there’s a chance he wouldn’t play for another team if LA traded him–he has already admitted that when Houston dealt him to the Clippers in 2017, he nearly retired instead of starting a new chapter. A quality player, a fan favorite, and a locker room leader, Williams would be sorely missed if the Clippers dealt him.

As I said above, though, upgrading the Clippers’ guard rotation is going to be tricky. The fit of the current trio leaves some of the team’s weaknesses exposed, but each is a quality individual player and finding upgrades would be hard. Of the three, Williams might make the most sense to trade. Beverley’s hefty two-year contract likely doesn’t have much return value, and his departure would leave the Clippers without a point guard. Shamet, on the other hand, is just 23 years old and has two cheap years left on his rookie deal before entering restricted free agency. The Clippers might be willing to part with their best prospect if they swing for a big talent upgrade, but not maximizing his value would be a mistake.

Williams’ $8M expiring for a valuable bench scorer would likely net the Clippers something positive in return–perhaps a late first-round pick or a different role player. The question, though, is if a deal exists that would actually make the Clippers better. Otherwise, Lou Williams is set to be a big contributor to the Clippers again next year, even if the team doesn’t find an answer to their point guard concerns.

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Lucas Hann

Lucas Hann

Lucas has covered the Clippers since 2011, and has been credentialed by the team since 2014. He co-founded 213Hoops with Robert Flom in January 2020.  He is a graduate of Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, CA and St. John's University in Queens, NY.  He earned his MA in Communication and Rhetorical Studies from Syracuse University.

37 Comments

  • Darius Miles Forever Darius Miles Forever says:

    LeBron just keeps attacking him as long as we have him. Having a tiny guard who can’t defend doesn’t work in the Playoffs.

  • Avatar Robert Dailey says:

    I’m more than a little surprised that seemingly no commentators note how Lou Will, as a result his selfish and poor judgement, let down his teammates, the franchise and the fans. It seems clear to me that Lou’s poor play in the playoffs (starkly below his regular season performance) was more than a little attributable to the 10 day quarantine he served. Wasn’t he clearly not the same player afterward?

    Perhaps its my anger, but my inclination is to explore a trade of Lou and get whatever you can get for him, rather than bring him back on the roster next season. You really can’t start him over Bev, and he’s a bad fit (defensively) paired with Shamet on the 2nd unit. Those negatives, combined with the way he essentially betrayed the team, make me feel that way.

    Perhaps that attitude is the equivalent of cutting off your nose to spite your face. Or, perhaps it is simply too harsh, considering all that Lou has given this franchise.

    • Darius Miles Forever Darius Miles Forever says:

      I’m with you. We HAVE TO get rid of him.
      I don’t care how many points he scores or how many times he stat pads against bad teams during regular-season. He has historically struggled against physicality in the Playoffs.
      He’s point guard height but not a typical point guard and can’t defend point guards. He’s horribly short for a SG and can’t defend wings. As long as we have him, our defense gets fucked up. We just have to pray to god that opponents will miss their shots everytime Lou is on the floor. I’m sick of hearing people say “He can score!”.

    • Avatar chogokin says:

      Lou has been amazing for this franchise, but I have to agree on your explanation for his poor play in the playoffs. He probably already didn’t have his head/heart in the game due to the death of his friend, and on top of that he had his quarantine stint thanks to his wings excursion. Plus, he didn’t seem like he really wanted the season to restart again anyways (e.g. https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2896937-clippers-lou-williams-50-50-on-nba-restart-doesnt-want-distraction). Seems to me that he just didn’t have his heart in it, and while you might be able to get away w/ that in spurts in the regular season, that ain’t gonna fly against top-tier teams in the playoffs.

      Whether the team keeps him or not I think entirely depends on what the FO can get for him. Unlike Trez, Lou was still valuable and contributed positively even w/ Doc often mis/overusing him – I’m not OK w/ just sending him out for nothing in return.

  • Avatar mlslaw1 says:

    Guy’s a conundrum. On the one hand, we love him when he plays well and makes those tough shots, gets the and one, makes those tough driving layups and demoralizes with the picn n roll to trez. On the other hand, he infuriates with bad or no D, makes a selfish off court decision and with poor or flukey shooting.

    I’m sure we’re gonna hear stories about how the bubble experience was perhaps worse for some players. Lou may have been in that camp as he seems to be more of a free spirit than most and so being constrained mite have affected him more.

    I’m willing to bring him back in a non bubble season unless we can find a guy who can both shot create and defend to replace him.

    • Avatar sjake says:

      tough call on Lou Will. Seems like such a good dude and he has the ability to carry a team through stretches in the regular season. He can just be so exposed in the playoffs and if he’s not hitting his shots, he is absolutely killing you.. If up to me, I keep him, but use him in a diminished role during regular season so that team doesn’t getting dependent on him bailing folks out on offense. If it turns out he’s not cool with that, you find the best place for him. The goal is to install a team offense/defense you can lean on in playoffs. If Lou Will is out there, players will defer to him on offense.

  • Avatar KingAlfonse says:

    W/ Trez likely gone I think the (regular season) magic of Lou will be diminished as well. Ideally he gets shipped out in a package that nets something tangible. If not, maybe a new coach won’t rely on him to the extent Doc did so the burden/expectation won’t be so great.

    I’ve loved watching Lou since he came over in the trade but he was basically unplayable in the Nuggets series and his playoff resume is just not good. I’m hoping for a Lou/Bev/Trez deal to officially turn the page.

    • Lucas Hann Lucas Hann says:

      I disagree that Lou was unplayable in the Nuggets series. Yes, he struggled immensely, no doubt there. But he had the team’s best +/- of the series! +47 in 179 minutes! He certainly doesn’t get single-handed credit for that, but if we take “unplayable” to mean “you can’t survive with him on the floor”, then the Clippers very clearly not just survived but thrived with Lou on the floor vs Denver, even if he wasn’t individually thriving.

      The team also lost the 157 minutes when Lou was on the bench vs Denver by 50(!!) points.

      Let’s break it down even further:
      Lou ON, Trez ON: -16, 105 minutes
      Lou ON, Trez OFF: +63, 73 minutes
      Lou ON, Kawhi ON, PG ON: + 14, 67 minutes
      Lou ON, Kawhi ON, PG ON, Trez ON: -21, 24 minutes
      Lou ON, Kawhi ON, PG ON, Trez OFF: +35, 43 minutes
      Lou OFF, Kawhi ON, PG ON: -42, 144 minutes
      Lou OFF, Kawhi ON, PG ON, Trez OFF: -30, 119 minutes
      Lou OFF, Kawhi ON, PG ON, Trez ON: -12, 25 minutes
      Lou ON, Kawhi OFF, PG OFF, Trez ON: +4, 4 minutes (a nothing sample size, likely G1 garbage time because PG/Kawhi staggered)
      Lou ON, Kawhi ON, PG OFF, Trez ON: -17, 30 minutes
      Lou ON, Kawhi OFF, PG ON, Trez ON: +18, 47 minutes

      Nothing in that data suggests to me that Lou was unplayable. In fact, the team performed significantly better with him on the floor than when he sat.

      • Avatar KingAlfonse says:

        I defer to you (and the mountain of evidence!). I think it FELT that way even though that clearly wasn’t the case. (Feelings not being facts and all).

      • Avatar imbat boyar says:

        To be honest, that team goes nowhere If the team plays good with Lou on the floor and bad when he is off the floor.

        We have to start acting, thinking like 60+ win championship contender instead of a 40 win underdogs. Lou and Trezz are the guys waiting to be exploited on the floor when playoff time come.

        • Lucas Hann Lucas Hann says:

          I have to push back on “Lou and Trezz are the guys waiting to be exploited on the floor when playoff time come.”

          Montrezl Harrell: clearly failed the eye test, horrible individual performances, advanced data suggest he killed the team whenever he was on the floor. Definitely was exploited in the playoffs. All 3 series – GSW last year, Dallas and Denver this year – the numbers show that Trez’s presence significantly hurt the team on both ends.

          Lou Williams: went ice cold on good looks (missing layups and threes!), poor individual performances but the eye test suggests he was getting his looks, just missing. Advanced data shows that despite his struggle to convert his shot attempts and his defensive reputation, the team was better when he played than when he didn’t. If Lou was getting exploited, why was the Clippers’ defensive rating better when he played than when he sat?

          If your hypothesis is that Lou was exploited vs Denver, that’s fine, but the data clearly shows it wasn’t the case.

          • Avatar imbat boyar says:

            Hmm, interesting. How was the on/off stats for Lou Williams on Dallas-Warriors Series?

            You are clearly better than I’m to find those. My comments reflects what I saw on the field.

          • Lucas Hann Lucas Hann says:

            In total, the Clippers’ defense was worse with Lou on than off vs GSW in ’19 and vs DAL in ’20, but the on/off splits with Trez are significant. My eye test + data combined analysis would concede that Lou is a minus defensively (according to my eye test) who can be adequately hidden/covered for in a good lineup (according to the data data), but not in lineups with Trez (according to my eye test and the data).

            vs DAL:
            LAC DRTG w/ Lou ON: 120.0 (163 minutes)
            LAC DRTG w/ Lou OFF: 96.8 (130 minutes)
            LAC DRTG w/ Lou ON, Trez ON: 133.9 (82 minutes)
            LAC DRTG w/ Lou ON, Trez OFF: 103.9 (81 minutes)

            Defense is amazing with Lou off, good with Lou on without Trez, bad with Lou on in general, horrible with Lou and Trez both on. The team isn’t better defensively with Lou on the floor but they are still very good (holding Dallas about 10 points per 100 possessions under their season average) when he plays without Trez. And he provides a big boost offensively:

            LAC ORTG w/ Lou ON: 123.1 (163 minutes)
            LAC ORTG w/ Lou OFF: 114.5 (130 minutes)
            LAC ORTG w/ Lou ON, Trez ON: 113.3 (82 minutes)
            LAC ORTG w/ Lou ON, Trez OFF: 130.9 (81 minutes)

            In total, Clips win the series by 58, win the 163 Lou minutes by 11, win the 130 non-Lou minutes by 47, lose the 82 Lou + Trez minutes by 37, and win the 81 Lou w/o Trez minutes by 48.

            vs GSW (keep in mind LAC lost this series with several blowouts so everyone’s #s are way worse here, and the two-man data is less reliable because the other positions are less “constant” than we can assume in 2020 with Kawhi/PG/Morris)
            LAC DRTG w/ Lou ON: 127.5 (176 minutes)
            LAC DRTG w/ Lou OFF: 105.8 (112 minutes)
            LAC DRTG w/ Lou ON, Trez ON: 130.9 (139 minutes)
            LAC DRTG w/ Lou ON, Trez OFF: 112.6 (just 37 minutes)

            Again, better without Lou than with him but not significantly until Trez enters the equation. With Lou as LAC’s top offensive option and the Warriors D keyed in on him, he doesn’t provide the same kind of boost here:

            LAC ORTG w/ Lou ON: 108.5 (176 minutes)
            LAC ORTG w/ Lou OFF: 112.3 (112 minutes)
            LAC ORTG w/ Lou ON, Trez ON: 103.6 (139 minutes)
            LAC ORTG w/ Lou ON, Trez OFF: 120.7 (37 minutes).

            In total, Clips lose the series by 59, lose the 176 Lou minutes by 69, win the 112 non-Lou minutes by 10, lose the 139 Lou + Trez minutes by 76, and win the 37 Lou w/o Trez minutes by 7.

      • Avatar TF12 says:

        Looking at this my thought is that it reinforces the notion that the Clippers will look to move Bev and possibly Lou for some a playmaking guard, if the opportunity reveals itself. These, if correct, are very telling;

        Lou OFF, Kawhi ON, PG ON: -42, 144 minutes
        Lou OFF, Kawhi ON, PG ON, Trez OFF: -30, 119 minutes

        as opposed to these;

        Lou ON, Kawhi ON, PG ON: + 14, 67 minutes
        Lou ON, Kawhi ON, PG ON, Trez OFF: +35, 43 minutes

        (Smaller sample of minutes though, and thats without looking at the numbers with the other guards)

        Its also interesting that Kawhi and Trezz in lineups with or without Lou in that series don’t really seem to mix at all.

        As for Lou, I think he may have seen himself out over the magic city thing. While it wouldn’t usually be a huge deal, given what was at stake, the circumstance, and his importance to the team I think as a long time pro he should have known better. And I think privately The Clippers were not happy with it at all. And thats unfortunate, because I think as fans we all (or mostly) have a lot of love for Lou.

        • Lucas Hann Lucas Hann says:

          it does start to point you towards “maybe the Clippers need upgrade from Pat to have a playmaker on the floor at PG at all times”

          • Avatar KingAlfonse says:

            Yeah, as much as I love aspects of Pat on the team, I’m beginning to think it’s time to move on or at least completely change his role. He’s constantly injured, allows opposing teams to play 5 on 4 on defense, and isn’t delivering enough to make all of the off court negative crap worth it (I.e. Draymond, who is every bit as grating and annoying but actually plays/played well and contributed when it mattered).

  • Avatar John Maclean says:

    Lou and Trez get together every summer and hoop in Atlanta which is also the one place Lou probably would resign and keep playing (he lives there). It would seem to me that Atlanta is looking to take that next step to not necessarily win a title but at least get into the middle of the playoff pack. Adding the most productive bench duo in history should go a long way in getting them there. Maybe there’s a way to get CP to alter his contract to like $90 million over three years and then do a SnT with Trez/lou to the Hawks, Landry to OKC and perhaps get a fourth team involved that might take on a Dedmon or Mcgruder and change to make numbers work. I can’t really see any team out there that wants Beverley at $13 million for the next two years but if it were possible to move him then there should be a deal to be had. I don’t like losing any of these pieces but CP3, PG and Kawhi would be heavy favorites to win it all and I think we may have to push all chips in now.

    • Lucas Hann Lucas Hann says:

      That kind of contract alteration for CP3 isn’t possible, unfortunately. The only thing he could (potentially) do is pre-emptively agree to decline his player option for 2021-22. That might make other teams more willing to trade for him but it wouldn’t alter the math problem of bringing him in this year.

  • Avatar osamu6238 says:

    I always felt like there was likely some tension between the “old guard” (Lou, Pat, Trez), and the new guys (PG, KL). With the former thinking they built something here, and I think just natural to have some tension with the new guys getting the superstar treatment. There were reports of some “side-eyes” at PG after the loss to the Nuggets, and I know I’m just guessing, but I have to think it came from the “old guard”. If that tension has gotten worse after the playoffs, you have to move on from anyone not inline with your superstars (no matter how bad they played in the playoffs)

    With Doc, the sixth man whisperer, gone and Lou heading into his 34 year season, I’m fully expecting Lou to take a step back. Jamal started his decline at 34 years old. While Lou could still put up decent numbers, he’s never been an efficient scorer, and really doesn’t have a lot of leeway, especially defensively, before he becomes unplayable.

    For those reasons, even after a bad playoffs, and now infamous lemon pepper excursion, I still think his value is probably higher now than it would be by the trade deadline. I do wonder what they could get for him in a trade. I mean his agent could basically kill any value for him by saying he’ll retire if he’s traded. But any team that wanted him is likely trying to compete now, so maybe can find a team that has championship aspirations looking for a spark off the bench, where he would be open to making another move. Probably not available, but if they could trade him like straight up for Spencer Dinwiddie, I do that in a second.

    • Avatar chogokin says:

      To be fair, those side eyes were coming from me too. Playoff P wasn’t great during the postseason, and his cringe-worthy comments after the collapse against the Nuggets were, well, cringe-worthy.

      Also I’m fine w/ sending Lou and Bev out if the Clips think they can get better fitting pieces in return. Lou for Dinwiddie straight up isn’t happening unless Brooklyn’s FO is delusional, but hey I’d take it in a second too lol

      Trez, on the other hand, after *that* playoff performance? I’d be totally fine w/ letting him walk for nothing or getting a TPE or 2nd round-pick in a SnT.

    • Lucas Hann Lucas Hann says:

      I think there’s something to that old guard vs new star divide, tbh.

      • Avatar KingAlfonse says:

        Which Doc Should’ve worked through. And honestly, as much as we all rolled our eyes at PG, whoever on the team did (Trezz, I’m guessing, leaked by Klutch to deflect from his horrendous play and put attention on PG) needs to be gone. PG is too important to whatever ceiling this current construct has.

    • Avatar Goons 1 says:

      I think it stems from trez, to be honest, & everything that’s been leaked (whether true or not) all has him in the middle of it..

      As far as Lou goes, he almost NEEDS to get traded if they plan on making any backcourt upgrades especially since he has a very moveable contract.. The question ultimately comes down to who can you possibly bring in to that’s going to make you better? It’s hard to find a trade out there that’ll work for all parties involved.. That said I’m def not in the get rid of the “old guard” just cuz.. Aside from trez, no one needs to go, unless there’s more problems behind the scenes that we don’t know about

      As for his play, yes the +/- numbers look good but when you needed him most in the last 3 games he didn’t provide what you counted him on to do, score & most importantly provide leadership! Him stepping up in other areas is nice but that’s what’s expected from every player in the playoffs so I’m not gonna gush over it..

  • teddy green teddy green says:

    How about trading Lou to Chicago for Tomas Satoransky

    http://www.espn.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=y6rfwkx4

    • Darius Miles Forever Darius Miles Forever says:

      Yes! I’ve been saying this.
      6’7 point guard Satoransky won’t be a liability on D like Lou. And he can share the court with Shamet, can defend 1-3. I heard Bulls don’t want to pay Sato $10M over 2 years.

  • teddy green teddy green says:

    Could the Clippers pull off this sign and trade: Trezz (to a new extension) for Thaddeus Young and then trade Lou in a seperate trade for Tomas Satoransky? Clippers get a starting point guard and a replacement for Trezz. The Bulls get the Lou and Trezz show to help them win a bunch of regular season games

    • Darius Miles Forever Darius Miles Forever says:

      If we could keep Morris and JaMychal, our wing & forward depth (George/Kawhi/Morris/Thad/JaMychal) would be pretty nice, especially on the defensive end.
      And we gotta get a cheap veteran center like Gasol, Noel or even Alex Len….

    • Lucas Hann Lucas Hann says:

      Satoransky: It’s not a secret that I like big guards. I would be perfectly happy to have Satoransky on the Clippers. The problem is that he’s worse than Patrick Beverley and Lou Williams. Satoransky is a smart offensive player but his assist rates are lower than Lou Williams’ and Sato isn’t the kind of player who breaks guys down off the dribble to create for others, he’s a secondary player. Sure, he’s a “starter”–on two of the worst teams in the league the last two years. He shot better in Washington than in Chicago last year, but he doesn’t take many threes. Defensively he’s solid, and the reason you love big PGs is they let you cross-match, but he’s not a stopper.

      You’d actually like Sato more in a bench pairing with Lou Williams (he’s really a rotation guy, not a starter) than replacing him. He’s got the size to cover for Lou in cross-matches, he’s a smart secondary player offensively who will keep the offense flowing without taking too many shots/touches away from Lou. But if you put Sato in Pat Bev’s role, you’re gonna miss Pat’s shooting and point of attack defense. If you put Sato in Lou’s role, you’re gonna miss Lou’s firepower. Either option makes the team worse. Satoransky has been heavily criticized for inconsistency with Chicago. That’s like 4 steps down in competitiveness from LAC.

      Thad Young: A straight-up Trez S&T for Young isn’t financially workable. Trez’s outgoing salary is going to be the greater of 6M or 50% of his new salary. His incoming salary is his new salary. I’m not sure how much we’re imagining Chicago giving Trez, but the Clippers would need to send out $10,756,000 to bring in Young’s $13.5M.

      Chicago won’t pay Trez the required 21.6M/year for LAC’s outgoing salary to cross that threshold, and even if they did, now they wouldn’t be sending enough money out to bring in Trez’s new salary.

      Talking more realistic Trez price points, LAC could S&T Trez at 12M/yr (so 6M outgoing) to Chicago in addition to McGruder, and afford to bring back Young. As long as Chicago has their books in order (i.e., they avoid the tax, which they should be able to do), Young’s outgoing $13,565,000 would be enough to bring in Trez at 12M + Rodney at 5.2M.

      The trick with any hypothetical sign-and-trade is that nobody has any control over what Harrell will do in free agency. Not only do the Clippers and Bulls both have to agree to the terms of this deal, but Harrell has to pick the Bulls over any/every other team making him offers. We have no idea if either side is even interested in the other at this point.

      The last snare rests in Thad Young’s value. If he has positive trade value, the Bulls probably wouldn’t be willing to relinquish him in a sign-and-trade. They’d have to view him as a negative or marginal piece to be willing/eager to dump him in a sign-and-trade. He’s 32, he’s coming off the bench for them, and he’s not only due $13.5M next season, but $14M the year after. It’s possible. The Bulls’ prior regime was shopping Thad in hopes of getting a prospect or pick back for him. It’s possible that with Karnisovas and Donovan now presumably taking control, they would rather be free of a cumbersome contract for an old backup and get a fresh start with a FA they chose–but they need to choose to pursue Trez.

  • Avatar Goons 1 says:

    I’m good on Thad & Lucas was spot on in his Sato take..

    Lou & Mann/Fi for Josh Richardson is something I’d look into though.. Question is, would Philly do it?? with Doc there & Elton having played with Lou (I believe), I could see them doing it

    http://www.espn.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=t42h5d8

    • Lucas Hann Lucas Hann says:

      Man, Richardson would be an awkward fit (he’s really a 2/3 and not a 1 at all, even less than Lou) but the talent/age upgrade is way too much to pass up.

      I would re-trade Richardson for sure. Otherwise he’s going to opt out next summer and get more money and a starting role as a second-tier free agent in a huge money off-season. He’s a much more reasonable centerpiece for the Clippers to pursue a guy like Jrue Holiday than anyone they currently have on their roster.

      That said, I really can’t imagine Philly trading Richardson for a Lou-based package. It would be a heist.

      • Avatar Goons 1 says:

        Does he solve the pg issue, NO, but he’s an upgrade in talent & someone who can give you scoring, shooting & defense off the bench & alongside Kawhi & PG.. Didn’t think about flipping him afterwards but I’d be more than fine with that idea

        & let’s be honest, almost every possible trade that could make this team better would be a heist

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