NBA Free Agency 2012: Lou Williams Will Reportedly Not Return to Philadelphia

Manav KhandelwalAnalyst IIJuly 6, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - MAY 01: Louis Williams #23 of the Philadelphia 76ers smiles near the end of Game Two of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Chicago Bulls during the 2012 NBA Playoffs at the United Center on May 1, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. The 76ers defeated the Bulls 109-92. 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 Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Even though Philadelphia 76ers GM Rod Thorn said that there was greater than a 50/50 chance of guard Lou Williams returning to the team, the two sides have apparently decided to part ways, and No. 23, an unrestricted free agent now, will test the free agent waters.

Lou (@TeamLou23) said the following in a recent tweet: "Philly, I appreciate you all. Unfortunately I will not be coming back, as an organization they decided to move in a different direction."

Williams led the team in scoring in 2011-2012, scoring 14.9 points per game and finishing second in the Sixth Man of the Year voting behind James Harden.

The 25-year-old had recently opted out of the final year of his contract to request more money from the front office, but the recent signing of Nick Young was the definitive way for Thorn to show Williams the door.

Many fans could have seen this coming, because Williams was only taking minutes away from young guards Evan Turner and Jrue Holiday, and the team didn't seem able to progress farther than a first or second round exit in the playoffs.

A lot of teams will be interested in the young guard; not only can he create his own shot, he also has a nice mid-range game and decent passing ability. He's the best point guard left on the market, and will be a presence off the bench or in the starting lineup for any team that is willing to give him the $12-14 million he is asking for.

In addition to parting ways with Williams, the 76ers also used the amnesty clause on forward Elton Brand, which will clear up $18 million in cap space. Letting go of both players gives the team over $23 million more to use either in the coming weeks or next year, when the free agent crop will be much better.