Why the LA Clippers should consider trading Lou Williams

Lou Williams LA Clippers (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)
Lou Williams LA Clippers (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images
Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images /

Three reasons to trade Lou Williams

There’s two sides to every coin, and just as there are reasons for the LA Clippers to keep Lou Williams on the roster, there are just as many as to why they should trade him.

Age and size

While ageism and discrimination is illegal by employers in the United States, no one seems to care about it in the NBA. Williams is one of the more senior NBA players and, at the ripe age of 33, should be packing his bags to move into a local retirement home.

Seriously though, 33 is young in pretty much any other context than professional sports. Typically, as athletes age, their productivity and efficiency take hits. Williams is beginning to experience this (more on that later). If he is only going to get worse, that means he has already reached his peak and his value will continue to drop. If the LA Clippers ever plan on trading Williams, now is the time.


In a very elementary approach, Williams has been great this year, all things considered. He’s averaging 19.5 points and 6.1 assists per game while serving as the third option on a contending team. Last season, Williams averaged 20.0 points and 5.4 assists, and the season before that, 22.6 points and 5.3 assists. He’s really adjusted to Kawhi Leonard and Paul George well, right?

Well, to put it bluntly, upon further inspection of advanced stats and analytics, Williams has been abysmal lately. Before Sunday’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, he has a true shooting percentage of 54.7 percent — his worst since the 2013-14 season. The following numbers are all lows for Lou’s time as a Clipper: 0.4 value of replacement player, -0.4 box plus/minus, .122 win shares per 48 minutes, 1.3 offensive win shares, 14.4 turnover percentage, and more.

Examining box scores, between November 29 and December 22 , he struggled mightily. In 25.8 minutes per game, Williams averaged 13.7 points on 39.7 percent from the field. Yuck. Not to point the finger at anyone, but some of the game the Clippers have dropped lately might’ve had different outcomes if he was making more shots.

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The Clippers had the best offseason in franchise history. Bringing in two top-10 players in Leonard and George is monumental and shifts the team from being an eight seed to a perennial title contender. However, George only has two years left on his contract before he can choose if he opts-in to his player option. Leonard signed a contract that matches George’s. So, if the Clippers fail to do anything in the next two seasons, they could lose both star wings for nothing in free agency at the same time.

The time is now and the team has to make the moves required to earn LA’s cooler franchise its first championship. That means no one, save George and Leonard, are safe. If someone is hurting the team’s odds of winning, they need to be dealt with. Right now, that person is Williams. Maybe he will start playing like 2017-19 Lou, but if not, the team has to move on from him, no matter how tough it would be.