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Lou Williams to Hawks: Analysis, Grade and Twitter Reaction

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 18: Lou Williams #23 of the Philadelphia 76ers drives and is fouled by Keyon Dooling #51 of the Boston Celtics in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs at the Wells Fargo Center on May 18, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Sixers won 92-83. 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 Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
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Eric BallFeatured ColumnistJuly 10, 2012

The Atlanta Hawks upgraded their backcourt in a big way on Tuesday.

According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, the Hawks have signed free-agent guard Lou Williams to a multiyear contract:

The Atlanta Hawks have agreed to a deal with free agent G Lou Williams, a source told ESPN.com. Story posted soon.

— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) July 10, 2012

 

Analysis

The 25-year-old has already logged seven years of NBA experience and is coming off a season where he averaged 14.9 points (career high), 3.5 assists and 2.4 rebounds while shooting 41 percent from the floor.

While his shooting percentage is certainly an issue, there is no doubt he is developing into one of the more promising guards in the Eastern Conference.

With the Hawks making a push to land Dwight Howard, giving him a talent like Williams will surely encourage him to strongly consider going back to his hometown (assuming he is willing to budge on his demand to be traded to Brooklyn).

Williams can fill the void left by Joe Johnson in the scoring department and will form a terrific tandem with Jeff Teague in the backcourt.

 

Twitter Reaction

“Lou Williams” began trending on Twitter almost immediately after the news, and naturally, there were a wide variety of opinions on the signing. Williams is certainly excited about joining a team similar to his old one:

ATL... LOUWILLVILLE.. happy to be apart of a team thats similar to the Sixers.. Young, athletic, and hardworking.. #highlightfactory

— Lou Williams (@TeamLou23) July 10, 2012

Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated gives Williams the ultimate backhanded compliment:

A year after losing Jamal Crawford, the Hawks pick up the younger version of him in Lou Williams.

— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) July 10, 2012

Superfan Grant_13 is very fired up about today’s news and gives all of the credit to new GM Danny Ferry:

Welcome back, Lou Williams. Man I love Danny Ferry! He rewrote the hawks future in 90 minutes getting rid of Joe and Marvin.

— Grant(@Grant_13) July 10, 2012

With Williams being a Lithonia, Ga., native, NBA.com writer John Schuhmann reminds us of a song that the newest member of the Hawks needs to play:

Cue "I'm coming home." RT @WindhorstESPN: Hawks have agreed to a deal w/ Lou Williams, a source told ESPN.com.

— John Schuhmann (@johnschuhmann) July 10, 2012

Grantland’s Rembert Browne hopes this move will be the one that triggers a Howard trade back to his hometown:

Dwight, you weren't cool in high school. This is your chance. Just come home, man. I swear I won't screen your calls anymore. - Lou Williams

— Rembert Browne (@rembert) July 10, 2012

 

Grade: B+

With the extreme turnover on the Atlanta roster this offseason, landing a young and improving guard for the foreseeable future is a terrific move.

While Williams may never make an All-Star team, he is a proven scorer that can create shots for his teammates and provide stability in the backcourt.

With Al Horford and Josh Smith down low, the Hawks now have a strong, young nucleus that already has plenty of playoff experience under its belt.

While the terms of today’s agreement are still unknown, assuming the Hawks didn’t grossly overpay for him, I love this move for an Atlanta team that is rebuilding on the fly.

He made $3.5 million last year, and as long as the Hawks don’t give him over $7 million per season, thumbs up for this move. 

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