Raptors guard Louis Williams‘ strong play in the final year of his deal has put him in the running for the NBA Sixth Man of the Year award. When discussing his past, present, and future with Mike Mazzeo of ESPN.com, Williams relayed that his free agent preference this summer is to remain in Toronto. “Absolutely. I already tried to get them to go do it — get an extension,” Williams said. “But at this point in my career, I want to play somewhere where the fans appreciate you, your team is serious about winning and create something special. We have an identity, and I love it. It’s perfect for my personality. I’ve always been the underdog, I’ve always been overlooked. I’ve always been the guy where it was like we’ll see what he does and then we’ll check on Lou. That’s been my career.”
It should be noted that Williams would have been unable to ink an extension with the Raptors since he is currently on a three-year deal. The collective bargaining agreement stipulates that a player can only ink a contract extension if he is signed to a deal of four years or greater in length.
Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:
- When asked by Mazzeo about the trade that sent him from the Hawks to the Raptors, Williams said, “I knew it was coming. I just knew my experience in Atlanta was coming to an end. It was either gonna be I was leaving after my contract was up or they were gonna trade me, and that’s just how things were going. We had a coaching change and I had missed the first [eight] games of that season, and the Hawks head coach Bud [Mike Budenholzer], he just was very honest and upfront with me and just said, ‘I’ve gotten more comfortable with this other guy and he’s probably gonna play the minutes.’ I had to respect that because the coach has a job to do.“
- The Knicks may have difficulty luring free agents to New York because of the restrictions that the triangle offense imposes on players’ athleticism, Marc Berman of The New York Post writes.
- Jeff Green, who holds a $9.2MM player option for next season, is still very close with his former Celtics teammates, A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com relays (Twitter link). Green is especially close with Avery Bradley, Blakely adds. It’s unknown if this camaraderie could lead Green back to Boston, or if the team would have any interest in re-signing the forward if he opts out of his current deal.