Report: Lou Williams Will Opt out of His Contract at Season's End

Alec NathanFeatured ColumnistApril 21, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 21: Lou Williams #23 of the Philadelphia 76ers reacts after scoring against the Miami Heat during the first half of game three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals at Wells Fargo Center on April 21, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

According to an article from Philly.com, Sixers' leading scorer and Sixth Man of the Year candidate Lou Williams will opt out of his contract at season's end.

According to John Mitchell of Philly.com:

Philadelphia 76ers guard Lou Williams will opt out of the final year of his contract at the end of this season and become an unrestricted free agent, according to a league source with knowledge of the situation. 

If Williams does indeed opt out of his contract, it will signal a significant changing of the guard in the Sixers' lineup. Williams has been the team's leading scorer all season long, and has been their go-to scorer in the clutch.

Although the Sixers have struggled to win closely contested games this season, the impact Williams has had on an otherwise struggling offense cannot be understated. Williams is averaging 14.9 points per game off of the Sixers' bench, one that is touted as the league's best.

Without Williams, the Sixers would be in desperate need of scoring. Perhaps the departure of Williams would give Evan Turner the space he needs to evolve into an elite player, but indications are that Turner is not a particularly good fit in coach Doug Collins' system.

Possible replacements for Williams could be found in the draft or in free agency, with several scorers becoming available in June.

In the draft, names like Doron Lamb and Dion Waiters stick out as potential fits for the Sixers, and in free agency, players like O.J. Mayo and Jamal Crawford could be available to the Sixers at the right price.