Some members of the Jazz front office have expressed recent interest in Lou Williams, sources tell ESPN’s Ian Begley. According to Begley, there’s a widely-held belief around the league that the Lakers will look to move Williams by Thursday’s trade deadline, and teams that have spoken to L.A. think the club is seeking a first-round pick for the veteran scorer.
Williams, 30, is enjoying perhaps his best year as a pro this season. Despite only playing 24.2 minutes per game off the bench for the Lakers, Williams is averaging a career-high 18.6 PPG, and has also established new career bests in three-pointers per game (2.1) and 3PT% (.386) so far.
In addition to his solid on-court production, Williams has a team-friendly contract that should make him appealing to potential suitors. The former second-round pick is earning $7MM this season and remains under contract for $7MM in 2017/18. With the salary cap on track to exceed $100MM next season, that’s a very reasonable price for a sixth man who can score at the rate Williams does.
The Jazz aren’t the only team that has been linked to Williams as of late. ESPN’s Zach Lowe reported on Monday that the Wizards have explored the idea of trading a protected first-round pick for the Lakers guard. Washington has all of its own future first-round picks in hand, while the Jazz actually hold a pair of extra first-rounders: Golden State’s in 2017 and Oklahoma City’s in 2018 (top-14 protected).