NBA Free Agency 2012: Why Chicago Bulls Should Pursue Lou Williams

Ian HanfordFeatured ColumnistJuly 7, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 28: Louis Williams #23 of the Philadelphia 76ers goes up for a shot between Loul Deng #9 and Kyle Korver #26 of the Chicago Bulls in Game One of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NBA Playoffs at the United Center on April 28, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. 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

Lou Williams isn't returning to the Philadelphia 76ers next season.

He announced the news via Twitter on Friday.

Philly, I appreciate you all. Unfortunately I will not be coming back, as an organization they decided to move in a different direction.

— Lou Williams (@TeamLou23) July 6, 2012

The 25-year-old lead guard averaged 14.5 points and 3.5 assists per game for the young Sixers squad. His announcement is a blow to the Sixers, but he will be a solid pickup for another squad. He's a prime candidate to lead a contender's second unit because of his ability to get to the rim and above-average shooting stroke (36 percent from three-point land last year).

Williams isn't your traditional point guard. He did average over three assists per game off the Philadelphia bench last year, but he tends to look for his own shot before helping others.

Either way, he's a valuable asset. Several teams need a capable bench scorer, but the Bulls need Williams in a few capacities.

Chicago has 2012 NBA draftee Marquis Teague on board as insurance, but it wouldn't hurt to have another capable point guard while Derrick Rose is on the mend for the foreseeable future.

Williams is that answer. Not only would he provide more stability than Teague is going to (at least initially), he would give the Bulls another capable scorer. Their backcourt isn't riddled with firepower and would benefit from Williams' scoring outbursts.

Chicago is going to need something to stick with Miami next season. They are already behind the eight-ball with Rose on the injury list, and who knows if they can duplicate last season's success with Rose out of the lineup.

Signing Williams would provide reassurance for the Bulls backcourt. At this point, we don't know how Rose is going to hold up in the long run. Williams may be a valuable long-term option.

It probably won't take long for someone to scoop up Williams. The Bulls would be to wise to swoop in while there's still time.