Lakers Trade Rumors: Lou Williams Reportedly Drawing Interest from Jazz

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistFebruary 21, 2017

TORONTO, ON - DECEMBER 02:  Lou Williams #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers dribbles the ball during the first half of an NBA game against the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre on December 2, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.  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 Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

The Utah Jazz occupy the No. 5 seed in the Western Conference and are reportedly looking to add some firepower to their backcourt for the stretch run.

Ian Begley of ESPN.com reported Monday some members of Utah's front office are interested in Los Angeles Lakers guard Lou Williams. Begley noted "many around the league believe Williams is likely to be dealt before Thursday's trade deadline," although some teams think the Lakers are looking for a first-round pick to move the guard.

Acquiring a draft pick would make sense from Los Angeles' perspective because it could add another building block to its young core of D'Angelo Russell, Brandon Ingram, Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson.

While Williams gives the Lakers a veteran presence who can score in a hurry, they are not going to compete for titles during the 30-year-old's prime. He is also set to be an unrestricted free agent in 2018, per Spotrac, so Los Angeles would garner some value for him before he potentially leaves to join another team down the line.

From Utah's perspective, it would get a high-scoring guard in the middle of a career season.

Williams is averaging a career-best 18.6 points per game in 2016-17 behind a career-best 38.5 percent shooting from three-point range. He's also done it all while coming off the bench for a 19-39 Lakers squad, so he would likely be more than comfortable sliding into a second-unit role for the playoff-contending Jazz:

Lou Williams' Career Per-Game Stats
SeasonTeamGamesPointsAssistsThree-Point Percentage
2005-06Philadelphia 76ers301.90.322.2
2006-07Philadelphia 76ers614.31.832.4
2007-08Philadelphia 76ers8011.53.235.9
2008-09Philadelphia 76ers8112.83.028.6
2009-10Philadelphia 76ers6414.04.234.0
2010-11Philadelphia 76ers7513.73.434.8
2011-12Philadelphia 76ers6414.93.536.2
2012-13Atlanta Hawks3914.13.636.7
2013-14Atlanta Hawks6010.43.534.2
2014-15Toronto Raptors8015.52.134.0
2015-16Los Angeles Lakers6715.32.534.4
2016-17Los Angeles Lakers5818.63.238.5
Source: ESPN.com

Utah is a mere 21st in the league in bench points a night, per NBA.com, and Williams could help anchor that unit as it looks to challenge the premier teams in the Western Conference the rest of the season and in the playoffs.

The only way the Jazz can realistically hope to compete with the likes of the Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs and Houston Rockets come postseason time is improving the overall bench production, and Williams would provide an immediate solution.

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