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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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – NOVEMBER 06: Lou Williams #23 of the LA Clippers reacts to his foul during a 129-124 Milwaukee Bucks win at Staples Center on November 06, 2019, in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – NOVEMBER 06: Lou Williams #23 of the LA Clippers reacts to his foul during a 129-124 Milwaukee Bucks win at Staples Center on November 06, 2019, in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

Four trades for Lou Williams

If the LA Clippers ultimately determine they are better suited for the playoffs by trading Lou Williams, here are four trade avenues they could pursue. (Keep in mind, I, the person writing this, do not work in any front office. If you do not like my trade suggestions, that is just fine. I don’t care. I know this won’t convince you, but you do not need to live in my Twitter mentions telling me you disagree with my valuations of these players. The trades will increasingly get less realistic. I know that. Just entertain the ideas and have fun with them.)

Miami Heat

In the first proposal, the LA Clippers swap Williams for youth.

The Miami Heat are currently engulfed in rumors with players from a number of teams, such as Chris Paul, DeMar DeRozan, and Bradley Beal. Williams could ideally be a spark off their bench to contribute offense the Jimmy Butler is taking a breather. Jerome Robinson likely wouldn’t have much impact, but the Heat could surely take a chance on him.

The LA Clippers would get a do-it-all guy in Justise Winslow who can play one through three. He can keep up with dominant offensive guards when on defense, and on offense, he can control the pace of the game as a ball handler. Duncan Robinson would give the Clippers another player who can hit from outside the three-point line. Pairing Robinson with Landry Shamet on the perimeter would be a nightmare for opposing defenses.

Golden State Warriors

Here the Golden State Warriors would be betting on Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson returning to their old forms when they recover from their injuries and finally take the court again next season. They would be loading their bench in hopes to pull off a few more championship runs.

Williams would provide what he would provide any team: scoring on a whim and making impossible shots look easy. Montrezl Harrell would be a high-upside replacement for Draymond Green. His energy is reminiscent of a younger Green, and Harrell could take the reins of Golden State’s frontcourt if Green continues to decline. Maurice Harkless would serve as a three-and-D forward.

The LA Clippers would be able to slide Patrick Beverley to the bench with this move. D’Angelo Russell would be a third star who can create his own shot and take over on offense. Alec Burks could contribute bursts of scoring as well as spot-up shooting. Willie Cauley-Stein would give the Clipper some much-needed size and could be an above-average backup for Ivica Zubac.

New York Knicks

This might seem like moving backward for the New York Knicks. The thing is, they kind of are moving backward. They recently fired David Fizdale, their head coach, as if they were expecting to have a semi-decent record at this point in the season.

They would receive Williams, who could pair nicely with their random veteran core of Marcus Morris and Taj Gibson.

Robinson would be another young player who would get to sit on the bench and watch 30-somethings play instead.

Montrezl Harrell is an actual asset for the Knicks, and he could make a nice forward tandem with R.J. Barrett one day. Harrell is proven and could be the future of the New York Knicks.

Why would the Clippers part with Lou and Trezz, though? Well, the reasons for Lou are back one page, and the reason for moving Harrell is his expiring contract. He’s going to want a big payday this summer, and it remains to be seen if the Clippers are willing to commit anywhere from $20-$25 million per year to the Louisville alum.

The LA Clippers would get back Elfrid Payton, who, when healthy, can do everything other than shoot. Frank Ntilikina can play phenomenal defense and has sky-high potential due to his massive frame and guard skills. Reggie Bullock coming back to the Clippers would be a welcome addition, as his floor spacing would be easy to plug into many lineups. Mitchell Robinson is one of the best rim defenders in the league. As many young bigs tend to do, Robinson has a bit of a fouling problem, as he averages 3.6 fouls in 22.7 minutes per game.

This trade would spread out the Clippers’ bench talent over several players, instead of two players owning the majority of the wealth.

Memphis Grizzlies and Brooklyn Nets

The final trade is a three-team deal.

The Brooklyn Nets would finalize their starting and bench backcourts. Kyrie Irving and Caris LeVert would start games, while Spencer Dinwiddie and Lou Williams relieve them.

The Memphis Grizzlies would be able to slide Jaren Jackson Jr. down to the center position full time. Brandon Clarke and Montrezl Harrell would serve as a killer power forward rotation that could grow together as the Grizzlies rebuild. Maurice Harkless would fill the role vacated by Jae Crowder, while Jerome Robinson might be able to find minutes in garbage time.

The LA Clippers would get: Jae Crowder — essentially Maurice Harkless with a better jump shot, Jonas Valanciunas — a double-double machine who could relieve Zubac to the bench and add much-needed size, Joe Harris for shooting, and a future first-round pick. This pick’s value is hard to determine, as the Nets will probably be good with both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving healthy in a few seasons.

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In the end, Lou Williams is an LA Clippers legend and will be enshrined in the Hall of Fame once his career has ended. His efforts have meant the world to the team and the organization wouldn’t be where it is without him. No matter what happens, it isn’t personal. We love and thank you, Lou.