According to Shams Charania and Adrian Wojnarowsi of the Vertical, the Los Angeles Lakers have traded guard Lou Williams to the Houston Rockets for Corey Brewer and a first-round draft pick.
The Rockets are sending Corey Brewer and a first-round pick to the Lakers for Lou Williams, league source tells @TheVertical.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) February 22, 2017
Needless to say, the Lakers’ front office has been in flux in recent hours and days, but all reports said the team remained focus on dealing Williams, who is having both a breakout and career year with the Lakers.
Williams is currently averaging a career-high 18.6 points off the bench along with 3.2 assists and 2.3 rebounds per game. The veteran guard is shooting 44.4 percent from the field, his highest mark since 2009-10, a career-high 38.6 percent from three and a career-best effective field goal percentage of 52.7 percent.
After an up-and-down first season in LA, Williams bounced back nicely this year under Luke Walton even despite a slow start in the preseason.
For the Lakers, parting with Williams has seemed like a no-brainer for much of the season. On top of Williams playing fantastic on the court, he’s on an affordable contract and, at 30 years old, is on a different timeline than the Lakers’ young core.
Williams also has playoff experience and is willing to come off the bench, two qualities that make him even more attractive to playoff and contending teams.
The draft pick received by the Lakers is necessary insurance given the circumstances surrounding their own pick this year. With their own pick not guaranteed to them this season, the Lakers acquiring a first round pick helps assure the rebuild isn’t derailed in any way this season.
Corey Brewer is under contract for one more season after this year. He has $7.6 million dollars remaining on his deal. Brewer is an unrestricted free agent in 2018.
Most importantly, trading Williams frees up more playing time for guards Jordan Clarkson and D’Angelo Russell and possibly even Brandon Ingram, all very valuable pieces of the Lakers’ young core moving forward.
For a franchise in transition and not known for making moves, trading Williams was the right move and a move that should lead to more positives in LA going forward.