Lakers Spurned by Lou Williams in Free Agency


Lou Williams, left, and Clippers guard Patrick Beverley

The Los Angeles Lakers were interested in veteran guard Lou Williams but he chose instead to sign with the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday.

Williams was one of the top free agents due to his explosive scoring ability off the bench. And even at 34 years old he can still be a key contributor for a contender — like the Lakers — who have looked to improve their 3-point shooting this offseason.

With the Hawks, Williams got a little more than the minimum the Lakers would have had to offer. He signed a one-year, $5 million deal, per his agent, Wallace Prather, via The Athletic.

Williams had “significant interest from several contenders,” including the Lakers, Warriors and Bucks, per Hoops Hype.

Williams averaged 11.3 points per game last year, playing 21.6 minutes per game. He shot just under 40% from 3-point range.

Lakers Have Added Lots of Guard Help

russell westbrook

GettyLos Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook.

The only guard that will be returning for the Lakers next season — as of now — is Talen Horton-Tucker, who was brought back on a three-year, $32 million deal. The rest of the guards will be new, headlined by Russell Westbrook, who arrived via a blockbuster trade just prior to free agency.

Westbrook is a triple-double threat every night and is one of the best playmakers in the game. Last season he averaged 22.2 points, 11.5 rebounds and 11.7 assists, shooting 43.9% from the floor.

He’ll have to adjust his game playing with LeBron James and Anthony Davis, but that appeared to be a concession he made when the trio decided to team up during a meeting before the trade. The mindset change from West

“They talked about putting their egos aside and playing as one in their quest to bring the Lakers another NBA championship,” Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times reported. “Westbrook talked about how his only intention was winning and coming back home to Los Angeles to become a champion.

Westbrook let James and Davis know he doesn’t mind playing off the ball when James initiates the offense, something he did while playing alongside James Harden with the Houston Rockets.”

Lakers Add Young Guards in Malik Monk, Kendrick Nunn

While the Lakers were chastised for adding “old” free agents, Kendrick Nunn and Malik Monk are two young players who could play significant roles in Los Angeles.

Nunn averaged 14.6 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.6 assists last season in his 56 appearances with the Heat, including 44 starts. Monk averaged 11.7 points a game and hit 40.1% of his threes. Monk averaged 11.7 points a game and hit 40.1% of his threes in Charlotte.

The Lakers are seemingly set, but former starter Dennis Schroder is still without a team. He averaged 15.4 points, 5.8 assists and 1.1 steals per game during his first season with the Lakers. However, the consistency from Schroder as both a playmaker and scorer was not always there and he had a very tough postseason. In Games 5 and 6 against the Suns he shot 3-of-22 from the field and scored just eight combined points.

Schroder has seen little interest as a free agent, eyeing a deal worth over $100 million. The Lakers offered him an extension during the year worth $84 million, but he turned that down, deciding to test the waters. That’s turning out to be a very bad decision.

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