Clippers Sign Lou Williams To Contract Extension

2:55pm: Williams’ three-year extension will be worth $8MM annually, with a $1.5MM partial guarantee on the third year, per Mark Deeks of GiveMeSport (Twitter links). The partial guarantee on that final year can increase if Williams hits certain performance incentives, says Deeks. As expected, those terms will make Williams ineligible to be traded this week.Lou Williams vertical

Williams’ deal is now official.

12:12pm: The Clippers and veteran guard Lou Williams have agreed to terms on a three-year contract extension, league sources tell Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports. Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune first reported (via Twitter) that the Clips planned to finalize Williams’ extension before today’s practice. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski adds that the deal will include a third-year team option, while TNT’s David Aldridge suggests there’s a partial guarantee on that third year (Twitter links).

Salary details aren’t yet known, but Williams would be eligible to receive up to about $30.3MM for three new years. A person with knowledge of the negotiations told Sam Amick of USA Today earlier today that a deal may end up closer to about $8.5MM annually.

Late last night, Wojnarowski and Brian Windhorst broke the news that Williams and the Clippers were making progress toward a new contract, suggesting that teams with interest in trading for the 31-year-old were becoming “increasingly resigned” to the fact that he may not be available.

A contract extension on its own doesn’t make a player ineligible to be traded, but NBA rules will prevent Williams from being dealt for the next six months if he signs an extension that adds three new years to his current contract, or includes a raise of more than 5%. It appears that Lou Will’s extension will fit that bill, which would mean he’ll stay put at Thursday’s deadline. Even if Williams retains his trade eligibility, his agreement with the Clippers looks like a signal that he’s part of the team’s long-term plans.

Long regarded as one of the NBA’s most dangerous bench scorers, Williams has taken his game to another level since joining the Clippers in last June’s Chris Paul trade with the Rockets. In 51 games (14 starts) so far this season, the former second-round pick has put up 23.3 PPG and 5.3 APG with a shooting line of .439/.380/.900. He had been in the final year of his contract, earning a $7MM salary.

The timing of the move is interesting for the Clippers, who just cleared a considerable amount of long-term salary from their books last week by sending Blake Griffin to Detroit. There had been speculation that the front office was looking to create cap room to pursue free agents in the summer of 2019, or perhaps even 2018. Williams’ new deal figures to reduce the team’s spending flexibility.

After locking up Williams, the Clippers figure to continue exploring the trade market for deals involving some of their other veterans. As Charania notes within his report, DeAndre Jordan and Avery Bradley are both viewed as trade candidates.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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16 thoughts on “Clippers Sign Lou Williams To Contract Extension

  1. Hen1CHC

    Ballsy, id definitely be shipping Lou and DeAndre in the next few days if I were the Clippers…

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        • hiflew

          Different situation. Lou CAN’T be traded for at least six months. That means he definitely won’t be dealt at the deadline.

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    • As long the Cavs don’t get them, than it’s all good. HaHa

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  2. Thronson5

    I love this guy, he’s a heck of a player but I don’t get this move for the Clippers.

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    • hiflew

      They have identified him as a player to build the team around. You or I might not agree with that assessment, but it is what it is. The Clips will probably be a middling team for the next 3 years now caught in the 7-16 range of draft picks. It’s not as easy to find a superstar as a complete tear down rebuild, but it is possible. Curry, Kawhi, George, Giannis were all drafted in the 7-16 range. With Lou Williams as a #1 option, the opportunity will definitely be there for a Clips draft pick to step up and become the next big superstar. I HOPE that is what happens just so it can set a new trend for rebuild other than the complete Philly tank job.

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  3. Rewane

    I feel like 10 millions per year is kinda cheap for him. There might be teams willing to spend 12-15 millions per year for him. I feel like he will be shopped again with those guarantees years next season.

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    • I disagree about what he could’ve made. The cap is barely going up next year and I think only 6 teams currently have more than $10m in projected cap space and most of them are rebuilders. This is a bad year to be a free agent and I think Lou Williams knows that.

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      • Rewane

        I agree that most team probably won’t give him more than 10m per year. The only obvious choice that could offer him more is the Sixers, although that deal would be short termed. age, waiting longer could hurt and this might be the last long term contracts with guaranteed money of his career.

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  4. Dicka24

    If the deal is truly 3 years and $30m with the 3rd year being an option year, that’s a steal in todays NBA pay scale. Williams is a terrific scorer. If anything it increases his trade value imo.

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  5. Kenleyfornia74

    3 years 24 million is such a steal. Barley more money than his last deal

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    • Senioreditor

      Agree. He’ll be sorry he signed the deal come July.

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      • Not this July. The cap is barely rising and only 6 teams (Atlanta, Brooklyn, Chicago, Dallas, Lakers, Philly, Phoenix) are currently projected to have $10m or more in cap space. Atlanta, Brooklyn, Chicago are all rebuilders who probably wouldn’t touch Lou Williams on anything longer than a two year deal. Lakers are probably saving space for a max free agent. Dallas and Phoenix are also rebuilders and are set at the 2 guard spot. Philly is the only logical choice from that group, and if they are the only team interested, he’s not going to get a good deal. If this was a season or two ago, I’d agree with you, but this is a terrible offseason to be a free agent. If he continues playing somewhat close to this next year, he’s going to be a really valuable trade chip with his skillset, nice contract, and all of those 2016 contracts starting to come off the books.

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  6. hopper15

    Seems like the Clippers only want to go half in on a rebuild. They should be trading guys like this so they can tank.

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    • hiflew

      I can’t stand it when people think of NBA teams as all or nothing. Either you are in the conference finals or you need a complete tank. There is a lot of gray area. If too many teams start tanking, then you are going to have labor strife like what is about to happen in baseball. I respect the Clippers for trying while rebuilding.

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