FEBRUARY 21, 7:03pm: According to David Aldridge of TNT, the first-round pick heading to the Lakers will not be protected. Per Bobby Marks of The Vertical, the pick involved is projected to be 27th overall and worth a cap hit of $1.4MM in 2017/18.
6:41pm: The Rockets are finalizing a trade with the Lakers for guard Lou Williams, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical. In exchange, Houston will send Corey Brewer and a first-round pick to Los Angeles. At this time, details about the first-round pick heading to the Lakers have not been made available (although 7:03 update from Marks suggests that it’s Houston’s 2017 first-round pick).
In 58 games for Los Angeles this season, Williams has averaged 18.6 points per game. He’ll join an already potent Houston offense that had been reported to be looking to fortify its bench. The 30-year-old guard is signed through the 2017/18 campaign at $7MM per season.
Brewer, a 30-year-old forward with a similar contract to Williams (he’s owed $15.2MM over two years), averaged 4.2 points per game with Houston but has carved out a role for himself as a savvy, defensive-minded veteran.
According to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders, James Harden had specifically wanted the Rockets to bring aboard the veteran and he’ll pair with prolific reserve Eric Gordon. According to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, Williams and Gordon are the NBA’s top two scorers off the bench and both frontrunners to win this year’s Sixth Man of the Year award.
Should the first-round pick heading to Los Angeles be Houston’s first-round pick in 2017, it could slot in in the late 20s. Per our reverse standings, the Rockets are currently in line to draft 27th.
The move marks Magic Johnson‘s first transaction since taking on the role of President of Basketball Operations for the Lakers.
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