Lou Williams is out for the season after tearing a ligament in his right knee, reports Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal Constitution. The Hawks guard suffered the injury last night against the Nets, and an MRI today revealed the tear, which the team specifies is to his ACL. Williams is in the first season of a three-year, $15.675MM deal.
The timing of the news is especially rough for Atlanta, since the NBA's deadline to apply for a disabled player exception just passed this week. Williams had fit in well as a sixth man with the Hawks, averaging 14.1 points per game with a shooting line of .422/.367/.868. His numbers were similar to the ones he put up last year with the Sixers, when he averaged a career-high 14.1 PPG. Williams had avoided major injury to this point in his career, having played in at least 61 games in each of the last six seasons.
Hawks GM Danny Ferry issued his reaction to the news, saying, "We’ll examine every and all option that can be considered and make decisions from there," as Vivlamore tweets. Atlanta has lost seven of its last nine games and sits at 22-17, in sixth place in the Eastern Conference. The Hawks are over the cap, but can use a pro-rated portion of their $1.957MM bi-annual exception if they wish to sign someone for more than the minimum.