Lou Williams

Free Agent Rumors: Iguodala, Oubre, Williams, Smith

A reunion between the Warriors and defensive specialist Andre Iguodala could be in the works. Iguodala has narrowed his choices to his former team along with the Nets and Lakers, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets. Iguodala, 37, played 63 regular-season games with the Heat this past season and averaged a modest 4.4 PPG in 21.3 MPG, with a majority of his field-goal attempts coming from beyond the arc. Iguodala won three rings in six seasons with the Warriors.

We have more free agent buzz:

  • Free agent forward Kelly Oubre is in discussions with the Hornets, David Aldridge of The Athletic tweets. Oubre averaged 15.4 PPG and 6.0 RPG for Golden State last season but only made 31.6% of his 3-point attempts. The Hornets are also reportedly pondering an offer sheet to Bulls free agent Lauri Markkanen — with approximately $14MM in cap room remaining, they wouldn’t be able to sign both players unless one accepted a very team-friendly rate.
  • Before Lou Williams chose to return to the Hawks, the Lakers, Warriors and Bucks showed interest in the three-time Sixth Man of the Year award, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. Williams opted for a one-year, $5MM agreement with Atlanta.
  • Free agent guard Dennis Smith Jr. won’t return to the Pistons, Marc Berman of the New York Post tweets. That’s no surprise, considering Detroit drafted Cade Cunningham with the No. 1 pick and reached an agreement with Cory Joseph after declining its team option on him.

Hawks Sign Lou Williams To One-Year Deal

AUGUST 6: The Hawks have officially signed Williams, according to a press release from the team.


AUGUST 5: After a successful late-season run with the Hawks in 2020/21, veteran guard Lou Williams has agreed to re-sign with the team on a one-year, $5MM deal, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter links).

Williams, a three-time winner of the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award, began the 2020/21 season with the Clippers, but was sent to Atlanta in a deadline deal involving Rajon Rondo when the Clips determined their backcourt needed more of a play-maker than a scorer.

Having spent the last three-and-a-half seasons in Los Angeles and having won two Sixth Man awards with the franchise, Williams was hit hard by the trade and admitted he contemplated retirement upon being sent to the Hawks. However, his arrival and his strong play in Atlanta helped push the team to the No. 5 seed in the East and the third round of the playoffs.

Williams averaged 10.0 PPG and 3.4 APG on .389/.444/.870 shooting in 24 regular season contests (21.0 MPG) for the Hawks, then put up 7.7 PPG and 2.2 APG on .455/.433/.963 shooting in 18 playoff games (15.4 MPG).

The Pacers, Bucks, and Heat were among the other teams linked to Williams during free agency, but a reunion with the Hawks was always viewed as a realistic possibility. While the 34-year-old won’t get the multiyear deal he’d reportedly been seeking, his $5MM salary will be nearly double the veteran’s minimum.

The Hawks had Williams’ Bird rights, so they won’t have to use cap room or a mid-level exception to re-sign him.

Free Agency Rumors: Paul, Caruso, Birch, Green, Heat

The Pelicans offered Chris Paul a $100MM contract early in free agency, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said on today’s episode of The Hoop Collective podcast. Windhorst believes the Pelicans’ offer helped convince the Suns to add a fourth year to their offer — that fourth year is not guaranteed, but it’s not clear if New Orleans’ offer would have been fully guaranteed either.

According to Windhorst, after new Pelicans head coach Willie Green tried to help recruit him, Paul entertained the idea for some time before ultimately committing to the Suns.

On the same episode of The Hoop Collective podcast, ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne stated that Alex Caruso was willing to go back to the Lakers for three years and $30MM, but that the Lakers weren’t willing to higher than about $7MM per year for the veteran guard. Concerns about an exorbitant luxury-tax penalty factored into that decision, per Shelburne.

We have more free agency rumors:

  • Khem Birch could be nearing a return to the Raptors, according to Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca (Twitter link). Grange reports that there’s “growing momentum” toward the two sides reaching a deal. The 28-year-old center was extremely productive in his 19 games for the Raptors after coming over in a trade, and has turned himself into a solid starting center over the last couple seasons.
  • Add the Cavaliers to the list of teams interested in Danny Green, reports ESPN’s Jordan Schultz. Schultz also confirms, in a follow-up tweet, that the Lakers remain interested in a reunion with Green, which Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports previously reported. It doesn’t appear the Lakers will be able to offer Green more than the veteran’s minimum though.
  • Following their deal with Victor Oladipo, the Heat remain interested in a low-cost veteran guard who will be healthy at the start of the season, according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald (Twitter link), who names Lou Williams as a player who would “welcome” interest from the team.

Pacers Rumors: Turner, Lamb, Brogdon, Ball, FAs

Plenty of trade speculation has swirled around the Pacers heading into the 2021 offseason, but a league source tells J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star (subscription required) that a “seismic” change to Indiana’s roster is unlikely.

One player whose name has popped up frequently in trade rumors during the last year or two is Myles Turner, and teams haven’t slowed their efforts to land the rim-protecting big man. According to Michael, the Knicks have gotten more aggressive lately in their pursuit of Turner — they aren’t the only club trying to trade for Turner, but they appear to be making the strongest push as of late, Michael says.

Here’s more on the Pacers:

  • With lottery pick Chris Duarte expected to step into a role on the wing, the Pacers are interested in moving Jeremy Lamb, reports Michael. Lamb, who was limited to 36 games last season due to injuries, is on a $10.5MM expiring contract.
  • The Pacers have had discussions about whether Malcolm Brogdon is the answer at point guard, according to Michael, who writes that the team also talked about possibly pursuing Lonzo Ball. However, Ball doesn’t seem to be a serious option for Indiana at this point, Michael adds.
  • T.J. McConnell and Doug McDermott both have interest in returning to the Pacers, but McConnell wants security (ie. a multiyear deal) and McDermott may get too pricey for the team. As he’s previously reported, Michael notes that McConnell is more likely than McDermott to re-sign with the Pacers.
  • Michael points to Avery Bradley, Lou Williams, Will Barton, and Garrett Temple as some free agents who may appeal to Indiana.

Scotto’s Latest: Markkanen, Noel, Raptors, Pistons, L. Williams

The Bulls and Lauri Markkanen are open to working out a sign-and-trade deal that would send him to a new team, league sources tell Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. Chicago issued Markkanen a qualifying offer this week that will ensure he’s a restricted free agent, giving the team some leverage in negotiations.

Scotto identifies the Timberwolves – who have long been on the hunt for a power forward – as one team to watch as a possible sign-and-trade destination for Markkanen. The Spurs and Thunder are also among the teams with Markkanen on their radar, per Scotto. San Antonio and Oklahoma City would have the cap flexibility necessary to issue Markkanen an offer sheet without giving up an asset in a sign-and-trade if they’re confident Chicago won’t match.

Here are a few more updates on free agency from Scotto:

  • Following a strong season in New York, free agent big man Nerlens Noel is expected to draw interest from the Raptors, Knicks, Pistons, and Kings, writes Scotto.
  • The Raptors and Pistons should have a little cap flexibility and will likely look to the free agent market to address the center position. Scotto reiterates that Jarrett Allen and Richaun Holmes are on Toronto’s radar, and names Kelly Olynyk as a potential Detroit target. Some people around the league believe Olynyk will end up signing a deal worth $10-12MM per year, Scotto adds.
  • Despite mutual interest in a new deal between the Hawks and Lou Williams, the three-time Sixth Man of the Year will receive interest from other clubs, including the Pacers and Bucks, says Scotto. Williams is seeking a multiyear deal.

Eastern Rumors: Ball, Rose, Tucker, Portis, Allen, Williams, Fournier, Schroder, Horton-Tucker

The Bulls are looking to make to major additions to shore up their point guard position, according to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report.

The Bulls have been linked for months to Pelicans point guard Lonzo Ball and there’s thought to be mutual interest between the two sides on a four-year deal worth more than $80MM. If the Pelicans extend a $14.36MM qualifying offer to Ball, he’ll be a restricted free agent — the Bulls would have to give him an offer sheet and hope New Orleans doesn’t match it, or work out a sign-and-trade with the Pels.

The Bulls may have some competition from the Celtics, who have been recently mentioned as a potential Ball suitor after dealing away Kemba Walker. There’s increasing speculation the Celtics will not look to re-sign unrestricted free agent Evan Fournier, says Fischer. That possibility increased significantly after the Celtics agreed to acquire Josh Richardson from the Mavericks.

Chicago is also considering another Derrick Rose reunion and there’s mutual interest. It’s uncertain if the Knicks and head coach Tom Thibodeau can convince Rose, an unrestricted free agent, to re-sign with them if the Bulls make a hard push. However, Chicago will likely need to shed salary in order to bring in both Ball and Rose and the Knicks have plenty of cap room to outbid the Bulls for his services. While that’s a best case scenario in the Bulls’ eyes, they’re intent on adding two point guards this summer, especially with Coby White out indefinitely after undergoing left shoulder surgery, per Fischer.

Fischer offers up a number of other interesting items:

  • The Bucks are interested in bringing back two of their prominent free agents. They’d like to re-sign defensive specialist P.J. Tucker on a contract in the neighborhood of two years and $20MM. They are also hoping to re-sign forward Bobby Portis and the feeling is mutual. Since the Bucks only have Non-Bird rights on Portis, they’d have to use their mid-level exception to give him a starting salary higher than about $4.3MM.
  • The Cavaliers view the Raptors as their main threat to re-signing restricted free agent Jarrett Allen. Toronto’s interest in Allen surfaced last weekend. However, Cleveland is likely to match any offer sheet for Allen. The Raptors are also eying Kings free agent Richaun Holmes.
  • League sources think Lou Williams, one of the league’s top reserves, could re-sign with the Hawks on a veteran’s minimum deal, sys Fischer.
  • The Knicks, who need to add scoring punch, have expressed interest in Fournier. They’ve also been linked to Lakers guards Dennis Schroder and Talen Horton-Tucker. Schroder will be looking for a new home after the Lakers agreed to acquire Russell Westbrook. Previous reports have indicated the Knicks’ potential pursuit of Fournier and Schroder. Horton-Tucker is a restricted free agent after the Lakers extended a qualifying offer, though the team has the option of pulling it off the table.
  • According to SNY.TV’s Ian Begley, there’s support within the Knicks organization to pursue Nets free agent Spencer Dinwiddie and he’s interested in remaining in New York. Devonte’ GrahamKendrick Nunn, and Kyle Lowry are some other potential targets at point guard. At the wing, the Knicks have some interest in the Spurs’ DeMar DeRozan and they’ve had discussions with the Magic this week regarding a potential Terrence Ross trade.

Scotto’s Latest: Beverley, Mann, L. Williams, Wizards

Veteran guard Patrick Beverley is open to signing a contract extension with the Clippers, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype said on the latest episode of the HoopsHype podcast alongside Yossi Gozlan.

Beverley, who will earn $14.3MM in the final year of his current contract in 2021/22, loves playing in Los Angeles with the Clippers, according to Scotto, who says the former Arkansas standout is a “big fan” of team owner Steve Ballmer. The team will have to determine this offseason how it plans to handle the point guard position, including Beverley’s and Rajon Rondo‘s expiring contracts.

Here’s more from Scotto:

  • Terance Mann is another key Clippers guard who is eligible for an extension this summer, but Scotto doesn’t believe they’ve had those discussions yet. Scotto gets the sense that Mann would only seriously consider an extension if the club offered the maximum allowable contract (approximately $56MM over four years).
  • Veteran guard Lou Williams is believed to be seeking a multiyear deal of either two or three years, says Scotto. Williams has interest in re-signing with the Hawks, and comments from GM Travis Schlenk at season’s end suggest that interest is mutual, Scotto adds.
  • Before beginning their second round of interviews, the Wizards met with Suns assistant Kevin Young about their head coaching vacancy, according to Scotto, who suggests Young is a name to watch for future coaching openings.

Hawks Notes: Williams, Backup PG, Okongwu, Roster

Lou Williams had considered retiring after the trade that sent him from the Clippers to the Hawks, but after Atlanta’s miraculous Eastern Conference Finals run, he’s thinking about coming back, writes Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Blessing in disguise. ATL, thank you,” Williams wrote in an Instagram post on Sunday. “I appreciate the warm welcome back. My teammates and staff was nothing less than amazing to me. Love. #6man #undergroundgoat #thinkimcomingback.

The three-time Sixth Man of the Year is entering unrestricted free agency this summer.

We have more news from the Hawks:

  • While the Hawks are open to bringing back Williams, Hawks president of basketball operations Travis Schlenk views the backup point guard spot as an area the team will try to upgrade this offseason, as Sarah K. Spencer of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes. “It’s no secret that we’ve always struggled to field a consistent role is at the backup point guard spot,” Schlenk said. “We’ve had a couple of different guys. I think that’ll be one area where we look to shore up this offseason.”
  • Schlenk expressed confidence in the team’s big men, including Clint Capela and John Collins, after Brook Lopez stepped up to provide a big offensive presence following the injury to Giannis Antetokounmpo. “When you get to the part of the season where we got to — the Eastern Conference finals — you’re playing against good teams and good players,” Schlenk said. “I have confidence in the big guys on our roster to be able to compete.”
  • On rookie center Onyeka Okongwu, Schlenk said: “I told ‘O’ yesterday I don’t think I’ve ever seen a player improve so much from the beginning of the playoffs to the end of the playoffs… Told him he should be extremely proud. But there’s a lot more there. And ‘O’ knows that and we feel like that. He’s only going to get better.”
  • Schlenk also touched on the roster-building challenges the team will face as a number of its current players get more expensive. “Obviously it’s a lot easier when you have guys on rookie-scale deals to build out your roster,” Schlenk said, “but once those deals come up, and those players start making bigger money, you really are limited on the ways to add to your team.”

Hawks Notes: Young, Capela, Williams

Atlanta won Game 4 vs. the Bucks in convincing fashion on Tuesday night, even without Trae Young in the lineup. Still, to maximize their chances of winning two more games and advancing to the NBA Finals, the Hawks would love to get their leading scorer back sooner rather than later.

Head coach Nate McMillan didn’t have a concrete update for reporters this morning on Young’s status, but said after Tuesday’s game that he suspects the star guard will ultimately be a game-time decision on Thursday, per Tim Bontemps of ESPN (Twitter link). Young is dealing with a bone bruise in his right foot.

Here’s more on the Hawks:

  • Starting center Clint Capela, who took an elbow to the eye late in Tuesday’s win, saw the team ophthalmologist after the game and is being re-evaluated on Wednesday, according to Bontemps (Twitter link). Sources tell ESPN that there’s optimism within the organization that Capela avoided a major injury and should be available for Game 5.
  • When he was traded from the Clippers to the Hawks in March, Lou Williams felt like he was being sent from a title contender to a sixth-place team, and contemplated retirement. Three months later, he found himself taking Young’s place in the starting lineup on Tuesday and helping lead new team to a win in a huge Eastern Conference Finals game. “We’re enjoying the ride. We feel like we deserve to be here. We’ve earned the right to be here, and at the same time we’re enjoying it,” Williams said, per Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today. “Did I look ahead and say we can be a championship contender day one? Probably not. But we’re two wins away like everybody else, and we feel good about it.”
  • For more out of Atlanta, be sure to follow our Hawks team page.

Free Agent Stock Watch: Playoff Edition

Throughout the season, Hoops Rumors takes a closer look at players who will be free agents or could become free agents this offseason. We examine if their stock is rising or falling due to performance and other factors. With the playoffs in full swing, we take a look at players on teams still alive in the postseason:

Lou Williams, Hawks, 34, PG/SG (Up) – Signed to a three-year, $24MM deal in 2018

When the Clippers and Hawks swapped veteran point guards at the trade deadline, the general consensus was that Los Angeles pulled off a coup landing Rajon Rondo. It doesn’t look that way right now. Rondo has only played nine minutes in the last four games against Utah, while Williams had 15 points, three assists and two steals in 23 minutes during Atlanta’s dramatic Game 5 comeback at Philadelphia on Wednesday.

Williams may not possess Rondo’s leadership qualities, but he’s been instant offense for many seasons wherever he’s played. The 34-year-old has been in the league since 2005 but he can stick around a few more seasons due to his offensive prowess.

Jeff Green, Nets, 34, PF (Up) – Signed to a one-year, $2.56MM deal in 2020

It’s amazing to think that the Jazz had no use for Green midway through last season and put him on waivers. The Rockets scooped him up and he was highly productive. He’s doing the same thing for the Nets. After a solid regular season, Green battled a foot injury that sidelined him for six postseason games. Back in action, Green delivered a monster performance in Game 5 against Milwaukee, firing in 27 points while draining 7-of-8 3-point attempts. Green won’t have any trouble finding work as an unrestricted free agent this summer, whether he re-signs with Brooklyn or joins another contender.

Reggie Jackson, Clippers, 31, PG (Up) – Signed to a one-year, $2.33MM deal in 2020

A TNT broadcaster called Jackson “Mr. June” as he made several clutch baskets in Game 5 at Utah on Wednesday. He’s not on the level of baseball’s “Mr. October” but this Reggie Jackson is proving to be a consistent playoff performer for the Clippers. He averaged 15.4 PPG against Dallas in the opening round, including a 25-point outing in Game 6. He scored 29 points in Game 2 and 22 in Game 5 against the Jazz. Jackson has also kept his turnovers down to a minimum. After having to settle for the veteran’s minimum in free agency last year, he’s due for a substantial raise when he enters the market again this summer.

Mike Conley, Jazz, 33, PG (Down) – Signed to a five-year, $152.6MM deal in 2016

Conley finally got his first taste of the All-Star Game this season. He got off to an impressive start in these playoffs, scoring 20 or more points in the first three games against Memphis. The injury bug soon bit him as Utah closed out the series and he’s been sidelined with a hamstring strain throughout the second round. That’s the main concern with Conley as he enters unrestricted free agency – he’s had numerous leg injuries in recent seasons. That could limit the amount of years teams will be willing to offer him.