Clippers' Lou Williams Says Trades Nearly Led to 2017 Retirement: 'I Was Done'

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistDecember 18, 2019

Los Angeles Clippers' Lou Williams (23) during an NBA basketball game against the Portland Trail Blazers Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

If not for a conversation with Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers, Lou Williams' NBA career might have come to an end in 2017.

In an interview with Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, Williams said he "was done" after being traded for the second time in the span of six months until Rivers assured him the Clippers needed him:

Stadium @Stadium

“I was done. I was done. Three teams in six months … ‘Is this it?’” Clippers guard Lou Williams tells NBA Insider @ShamsCharania he was planning to retire after the Chris Paul trade in 2017 before an important conversation with Doc Rivers. https://t.co/xVqskTUOzK

Williams was in the midst of a four-month stretch in 2017 when he was with three different teams. His 2016-17 season started with the Los Angeles Lakers, who traded him to the Houston Rockets on Feb. 23. 

After finishing out the season in Houston, Williams was dealt to the Clippers during the summer as part of the package for Chris Paul. The 33-year-old has established himself as one of the most important players for Rivers since arriving in Los Angeles. 

During his first season with the Clippers in 2017-18, Williams averaged a career high 22.6 points per game. He has shot 36.1 percent from three-point range in 181 games with the team and is the reigning two-time Sixth Man of the Year.

As the Clippers' expectations skyrocketed this summer with the additions of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, Williams remains an integral part of Rivers' offense. He ranks third on the team in scoring average (19.9) and is averaging a career best 6.3 assists per contest.