Lou Williams can still fill up the cup. The 34-year-old guard and three-time recipient of the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award is coming off a split season between the Atlanta Hawks and Los Angeles Clippers. He finished the regular season averaging a combined 11.3 points on 39.9 percent shooting from beyond the arc in 21.6 minutes per contest.
Williams is a smooth, proven scorer who’s capable of assuming ball-handling duties. He plays in isolation, creates separation, attacks the rack and is a willing shooter from any part of the floor. With both the Hawks (last season) and Clippers (the better part of the last four years), Lou Williams flaunted a keen ability to be instant offense off the bench and serve as a veteran resource for the young guards around him.
In all likelihood, Williams will seek out an NBA contender in free agency, as he’s yet to hold up the Larry O’Brien Trophy in his 16-year NBA career. Here are three ideal free agent destinations for Lou Williams.
3) Portland Trail Blazers
Damian Lillard and the Trail Blazers appear to be sticking together, for the time being. Working under that mindset, Lou Williams would be a stealthy signing for the Trail Blazers.
As is, new head coach Chauncey Billups has an extremely young bench in need of veteran accompaniments. Lou Williams would be part of the team’s backup backcourt, potentially serving as the lead guard. One way or another, his offense helps pick up the slack when Lillard and CJ McCollum come off the floor. He creates his own shot and can facilitate for others.
Williams and the Trail Blazers have a commonality: they’re each looking for a ring. The veteran has seen a lot and was just two wins away from appearing in the NBA Finals last season while the Trail Blazers haven’t won a Western Conference Finals game since 2000. Both parties have a common goal and a lot in common.
Midseason pickup Norman Powell is a free agent and poised to get a hefty eight figure salary, which would be pushing the envelope for the Trail Blazers’ long-term payroll. Williams poses a cheaper and nearly as impactful alternative to Powell. That said, Lou Williams could view the Trail Blazers’ precarious backcourt situation as too risky to commit to.