Signing Lou Williams from the Clippers would solve a number of problems the Sixers have had this season, plus add more veteran leadership.
On Monday, the landscape of the NBA was shaken when the L.A. Clippers sent Blake Griffin and his five-year, $173 million contract to the Detroit Pistons in exchange for a combination of players and draft picks. It was a blockbuster deal that has almost every team in the league rethinking what they may or may not do at the Feb. 8 trade deadline.
The general thinking is that the Clippers are looking to go in a new direction. One that, if the front office can clear enough cap space, they hope will include free agent to be LeBron James.
Now whether James would leave the Cavaliers for a Los Angeles team that isn’t the Lakers remains to be seen. But the fire sale the Clippers are apparently engaged in could benefit the Philadelphia 76ers in a big way.
The other two players that it would seem the Clippers are interested in making go away are center DeAndre Jordan and shooting guard Lou Williams. Both are free agents after the current season concludes and both could be too expensive to sign if James commands the kind of money he is expected to.
While the Sixers have no need for Jordan with a healthy Joel Embiid on the team, bringing Lou Williams back to Philly could be a winning move.
So far this season Williams has been putting up some of the best numbers of his career. He is averaging 23.5 points, 5.2 assists and 2.5 rebounds per game, all of which is coming off the bench. He is also hitting 39.4 percent of his shots from beyond the arc, a category the Sixers could always use some help with.
Williams is a a perimeter scorning threat almost every time he touches the ball, which with J.J. Redick on the sideline and no real replacement for him emerging, the Sixers could really use.
Another consideration is that Williams was drafted by the Sixers in 2005 and played the first seven seasons of his career here. He was then traded to the Atlanta Hawks before bouncing around the NBA for a number of years and eventually finding a home with the Clippers.
Williams was always a very popular player in Philly, where you can still see plenty of fans wearing his number at any home game. If the feeling was mutual, there is every chance Williams may be willing to take less if it meant he could stay with the Sixers and possibly finish his career here.
As for what or who the Sixers may have to give up to bring Williams here, the obvious choice would be Trevor Booker. He is on an expiring contract that the Clippers could easily absorb and then cut Booker as soon as the season is over. The Sixers may also have to throw in a few draft picks, since that is what the Clippers really want, but thanks to Sam Hinkie the team still has a plethora of second rounders for exactly this situation.
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Seeing Sweet Lou in a Sixers uniform again would not only be a great thing to experience at the Wells Fargo Center, but it could be the difference maker in the team making a trip to the playoffs or sitting home and watching on television.
The NBA trade deadline is in ten days. Hopefully once all is said and done, Lou Williams will be a 76er once again.