Lou Williams will not be back with the Philadelphia 76ers next season, but the talented scorer will now be a hot commodity on the free agent market.
Williams announced the news on July 6 via Twitter.
The Sixers chose to move forward with Nick Young instead of Williams. Jason Terry is heading to the Boston Celtics, while Ray Allen is taking his talents to South Beach and will sign with the Miami Heat.
Williams is now the best option available among unrestricted free agent shooting guards. While no team has made any official contact with him, his availability will shake up the market.
Here are the teams that Williams should consider joining.
1. Memphis Grizzlies
Williams excelled as a sixth man for the Sixers last season, and this is the role he would play if he moved to Memphis.
He led the team with 14.9 points per game. He was not the most efficient player and shot just 40.7 percent from the field and 36.2 percent from behind the arc.
But the Sixers struggled offensively as a team last season and often gave Williams little help, relying on him to score in one-on-one situations. This is why his usage rate of 27.39, according to HoopData.com, was the highest on the team.
The Grizzlies are not interested in bringing back O.J. Mayo, and Williams is an ideal candidate to fill his role. He brings all of the skills and none of the baggage that came with Mayo.
This is also the best move for Williams, as it will keep him on a playoff-caliber team.
2. Phoenix Suns
Williams’ best role is the sixth man on a playoff team, but he is just 25 years old and may want to try and prove that he can be a starter.
If this is his goal, then the Suns are an intriguing option. Phoenix extended an offer to restricted free agent Eric Gordon, but the New Orleans Hornets will likely match it, according to Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today.
The Suns are clearly looking for a scoring two-guard, and Williams fits the bill.
Paired with Goran Dragic, who recently returned to Phoenix, the Suns would have a streaky, exciting pair of backcourt players who could light up the scoreboard.
3. Dallas Mavericks
The Mavericks have had a terrible offseason so far and they need to start adding quality players in order to right the course.
With Terry out of the picture, Dallas needs to add some backcourt players who can score.
The team’s first priority will be to add a point guard, but the problems for the Mavericks run much deeper than that. Dirk Nowitzki and Shawn Marion are the only two players on the team who played significant roles in the team’s championship run two seasons ago.
The Mavs desperately need to sign an impact player, and Williams can be a productive scorer in Dallas. Despite their misfortunes this summer, this is an organization that has shown a commitment to winning, and Williams will be on a successful team somewhere down the line if he goes to the Mavericks.