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|
|2015-16||Los Angeles Lakers||67||15.3||2.5||34.4|
|2016-17||Los Angeles Lakers||58||18.6||3.2||38.5|
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.