The Clippers want to offload Lou Williams before the regular season begins. The Knicks should call them to acquire the talented scorer.
If the Knicks want to grow into a playoff contender next season, they need to take some of the scoring load off R.J. Barrett. Bringing Lou Williams to the Big Apple would help the team do just that.
Fortunately for the Knicks, the Clippers are more than happy to let the veteran guard leave. According to Marc Stein, “many rival teams” expect Los Angeles to offload Williams in the coming weeks. At least some of the team’s motivation to deal him is related to the chemistry issues that derailed the Clippers during last year’s playoffs.
On the court, Williams is still a talented individual scorer that can really help teams that need to add some scoring punch to their lineups. The Knicks are one team that falls into that category. RJ Barrett struggled mightily during his rookie campaign to shoulder the offensive load on a nightly basis.
No one the Knicks have added this offseason is prepared to help him in that department. Even if Obi Toppin lives up to the hype, he’s a big man who isn’t well-suited to create offense with the ball in his hands.
Williams isn’t the young scorer the Knicks should be looking to pair with Barrett for the long haul, but he can help the young wing dramatically next season. New York should be looking to make this deal to help build a more suitable ecosystem to allow Barrett to grow into a quality first option.
The good news for the Knicks front office is that they can absorb the last year of Williams’ deal into open cap space. His $8 million salary is a reasonable sum for a player who has the offensive chops to average 20 points per game in the right system.
Williams’ lack of defensive ability makes him a liability in the postseason, but the Knicks shouldn’t be concerned with their potential playoff roster at this point in time.
A heavily protected first-round pick that converts to multiple second-round picks if it doesn’t convey next year is a price that should work for both parties. The Clippers can save face by telling their fans they’ve received a first-rounder in exchange for Williams. The Knicks would only be forced to pay that price if Williams powered them to their best season in recent memory.
Neither the Clippers nor the Knicks will dramatically change their team with a trade for Williams, but it can be a marriage of convenience for both teams. Sweet Lou makes a lot of sense in the Big Apple.