Lou Williams, Clippers Reportedly Agree on 3-Year Contract Amid Trade Rumors

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistFebruary 7, 2018

Los Angeles Clippers guard Lou Williams, right, drives by Atlanta Hawks guard Kent Bazemore during the second half of a basketball game, Monday, Jan. 8, 2018, in Los Angeles. The Clippers won 108-107. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Clippers and guard Lou Williams reportedly agreed to a three-year contract extension Wednesday amid his breakout as a Sixth Man of the Year candidate.

Shams Charania of The Vertical reported the news ahead of Thursday's trade deadline. Charania later reported the contract is worth $24 million with a $1.5 million guarantee in the final year of the deal. Williams will make $31 million in total counting this season.

Earlier in the day, Adrian Wojnarowski and Brian Windhorst of ESPN reported that "rival teams were increasingly resigned" that Williams was off the trade market.

Williams, 31, is in his first season with the Clippers. He's averaging a career-high 23.3 points per game while helping keep the Clippers in the playoff hunt despite a rash of injuries across their roster. 

"I've been playing with confidence for the past month or so now, so tonight was similar to other nights that I've had," Williams told reporters after scoring 50 points in a game against the Golden State Warriors. "I've had some special nights this far in the year. But this one was pretty good."

Williams came over as part of the offseason trade that sent Chris Paul to the Houston Rockets. While something of an afterthought in the deal, he's played the best basketball of his career under Doc Rivers. He's well on his way to blasting his career high in points and threes made while also shooting at a career-best 38 percent from distance.

"He's been unbelievable for us," forward Blake Griffin said on Jan. 1, before being traded to the Detroit Pistons, per the Los Angeles Daily News' Elliott Teaford. "I knew he could score and all that, but he's been better than advertised in my opinion. The thing that surprised me, too, I had a lot of respect for him as a player, I didn't know he was as good of a passer as he is. He scores the ball with ease, obviously."

Tying him up on a longer-term deal might not be the best financial situation. Williams is a below-par defender who had never performed at this level on offense coming into the season. Paying him into his mid-30s is a shaky fiscal call for a team that's already over the cap with no path toward title contention. 

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