After adding Serge Ibaka and Luke Kennard to their roster while losing Montrezl Harrell, JaMychal Green, and Landry Shamet, the Clippers may not be done, according to Marc Stein of The New York Times. A number of rival teams expect L.A. to trade away Lou Williams at some point, Stein says.
Although Williams is now 34 years old, he’s on a team-friendly expiring $8MM contract and remains a very talented scorer, having averaged 18.2 PPG off the bench in 2019/20, so he’d certainly draw interest if the Clippers put him on the trade block.
Interestingly, Stein notes that the Clippers made it a top priority this offseason to make “dramatic chemistry changes.” There were reports last season of tension in the locker room based on what some incumbent players viewed as preferential treatment for new Clippers stars Paul George and Kawhi Leonard. While he doesn’t specify whether it was related to those issues, Stein says that team officials “quietly decided (Harrell) had to go.” The Sixth Man of the Year ended up with the rival Lakers.
Here’s more from Stein’s latest newsletter:
- For weeks leading up to the offseason, there had been “promising rumblings” about the Bucks‘ ability to sign Giannis Antetokounmpo to a super-max extension this fall, according to Stein. As Stein explains, there was an increasing belief that Antetokounmpo would opt for long-term financial security and reserve the right to ask for a trade down the road if he becomes dissatisfied with the situation in Milwaukee. The Bucks are now in wait-and-see mode, with Giannis expected to soon arrive back in the U.S. from Greece.
- People around the NBA are wondering if the Bucks gave up too much to acquire Jrue Holiday, having surrendered three first-round picks and two pick swaps for the standout guard, writes Stein. However, he contends that if Holiday and Antetokounmpo end up sticking around beyond 2021, Milwaukee’s “all-in approach will be redeemed.”
- After initially offering Gordon Hayward a two-year deal in free agency, the Knicks increased their offer to four years and remained in the chase for the veteran forward “throughout the process,” according to Stein, who notes that head coach Tom Thibodeau is an “admirer” of Hayward. Ultimately though, Charlotte’s four-year, $120MM was at a level that neither New York nor any other suitor was willing to match.