The Los Angeles Lakers are expected to be highly active on the trade market as the February 23 deadline approaches. According to the latest NBA rumors, the Lakers will likely trade veteran guard Lou Williams for draft picks or young assets.
Lou Williams is currently the scoring leader of the Lakers despite mostly coming off the bench. He’s playing his best season so far in Los Angeles, averaging 18.5 points and 3.2 assists on 44.2 percent from the field and 38.1 percent from the three-point range. Despite his impressive performance, the Lakers are still struggling and projected to be a lottery team once again.
Lakers shopping veteran guard Lou Williams
In the nearing Feb. 23 deadline, the Lakers are reportedly planning to move their veterans as they continue rebuilding the team. An opposing general manager told Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype that the Lakers have shopped Lou Williams and “seem likely” to move him prior to the deadline.
Williams is undeniably one of the best players in Los Angeles right now. Unfortunately, he’s already 30 and his presence doesn’t align with the team’s plan. The Lakers will not be contending for the title anytime soon and coach Luke Walton revealed that developing their young players remain as their top priority.
Lou Williams as LeBron James’ playmaker?
As Kennedy notes, the Cleveland Cavaliers are one of the NBA teams who could pursue Williams before the trade deadline. The Cavaliers recently held a free agency workout to cater LeBron James’ request of another playmaker on their team. Mario Chalmers, Jordan Farmar, Lance Stephenson, and Kirk Hinrich attended the event but none of them were chosen until now.
The Cavaliers are not only looking on the free agency market but also via the trade route. They already inquired about Deron Williams’ availability but the Dallas Mavericks aren’t willing to trade him. Lou Williams is undeniably the best fit for the role based on how he plays in Los Angeles right now.
According to HoopsHabit, the Lakers could demand a first-round pick in return or young assets they need to speed up the rebuilding process. Trading Williams will somehow benefit the Lakers as it will enable their young backcourt players to have more playing time. However, as of now, it remains questionable if the Cavs have the assets that will push the Lakers to trade Williams.
Lou Williams doesn’t care about the trade rumors
Despite the recent rumors, Williams remains focused on his game. In the Lakers’ 97-96 loss to the Sacramento Kings, Williams established an impressive performance scoring 19 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter. The 30-year-old guard said he’s willing to accept anything that will happen before Feb. 23 deadline.
“I just play man,” Williams said. “I’m a little old school in my approach. I play for the team that I have the jersey on for. I don’t really deal with hypotheticals. If something happens, it happens. If it don’t, it don’t. I’m going to compete for the Lakers as of now.”
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