Charlotte aggressively pursuing Los Angeles guard Lou Williams, league sources tell ESPN. As @ESPNSteinLine notes, most likely to be dealt.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) February 21, 2017
Williams has been linked in trade discussions for weeks now, with many speculating that he will more than likely be moved before Thursday’s deadline. Despite coming off the bench, he leads the team in scoring, averaging a career high 18.6 points per game, shooting 44.4 percent from the field, and 38.5 percent from 3. Given his performance, the Lakers are hoping to cash in as they continue to rebuild.
On one hand, Williams checks a lot of baskets for the Hornets. He’d be the legitimate bench scorer the team has sought, and could provide scoring help for Kemba Walker in the fourth quarter. In many ways, he fits the type of player sought by Charlotte in the past (think Courtney Lee, and Gary Neal).
On the other hand, he’s 30 years old, has a year and a half remaining on his contract, and likely would command a 1st round pick. Even if its a future first, and its protected, there are potential long term consequences to consider. He make a lot of sense for a team looking to contend in the playoffs, and less sense for one scrapping for the eight seed.
That said, there’s little doubt he would make Charlotte better in the short term. If the report is true, “aggressively pursuing” could turn into “acquired” quickly.