2012 NBA Free Agency: Lou Williams' Possible Landing Spots
Lou Williams' agent, Leon Rose, has confirmed reports that his client will exercise his opt-out clause in his contract and become a free agent. Williams was due to make $5.35 million next year had he not opted out of his current contract.
Although Williams opted out, he says he still wants to remain with the Philadelphia 76ers, but at the same time he's keeping his options open. Sources say that Williams wants a contract similar to what his teammate Thaddeus Young received in 2011, which was a five-year, $43 million deal.
Williams is likely to stay in Philadelphia, but here are some teams that have a shot of landing Lou in the upcoming free-agency period.
With the probable departure of free agent Steve Nash looming, the Suns are exploring options to replace the two-time MVP. Although the Suns may look to draft Nash's replacement, if they decide to go a different route, Williams could be a great short-term solution.
Lou would add some offensive excitement and experience to a rebuilding franchise in the Suns. Look for the Suns to aggressively pursue Williams.
Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers acquired Ramon Sessions from the Cleveland Cavaliers right at the trade deadline to shore up the point guard position. Sessions performed very well for the Lakers, but unfortunately for Laker fans, perhaps he outplayed his current contract.
Sessions has a player option, and he has been rumored to be considering opting out of his current contract. If Sessions opts out, it is still likely the Lakers would re-sign him. However, if the Lakers decide to go in a different direction, look for them to target Williams as a possible replacement.
The only possible issue the Lakers might have with signing Lou Williams would be salary cap issues.
Portland Trail Blazers
Raymond Felton struggled mightily during the 2011-2012 season as the starting point guard for the Blazers, and the Blazers are not expected to re-sign Felton. Without a player with starting point guard experience on their roster, the Blazers are going to be forced to sign one in free agency. This need makes Lou Williams an obvious fit for the Blazers.
In addition, with the probable departure of Jamal Crawford, the Blazers desperately need a second scoring option after LaMarcus Aldridge, and Williams' scoring ability will allow him to be a capable second option for Portland.
If the Dallas Mavericks are unable to re-sign Jason Terry, then they will likely be in the market for a scorer to come off the bench.
Lou Williams is the perfect replacement for this role in Dallas, as he has been an elite sixth man in this league for the last few seasons.
Dallas could be looking to move in a younger direction, and no other player fills Terry's sixth man role better than Williams.