Lou Williams, Hawks Agree To Multi-Year Deal
According to Brian Windhorst of ESPN, the Atlanta Hawks and unrestricted free agent guard Lou Williams have come to an agreement on a multi-year deal. Contracts can’t officially be signed until after the league moratorium is lifted on July 11.
Williams, the No. 45 overall pick of the 2005 draft, had played his entire seven-year career with the Philadelphia 76ers mostly as a reserve before the team opted to bring in the younger Nick Young via free agency last week. The addition of Young to the Sixers’ backcourt left Williams as the odd man out.
However, in Atlanta, Williams will have an opportunity to become a full-time starter for the first time in his career in the Hawks’ backcourt after the team agreed to deal six-time All-Star shooting guard Joe Johnson to the Brooklyn Nets last week.
Williams is an Atlanta native – he attended South Gwinnett HS just outside the city – who averaged 14.9 points per game in 64 contests last season with Philadelphia, where he finished second in the league’s Sixth Man of the Year voting.
The 6’2 guard can play both spots in the backcourt and has averaged double-digit scoring the past five seasons. The Hawks are believed to be using their $5 million midlevel exception in order to bring Williams back to his hometown.
The addition of Williams is the latest in a series of moves new president of basketball operations and general manager Danny Ferry has made since joining the organization last month. The Hawks, who have reached the playoffs for five straight campaigns, will look dramatically different next season as only Al Horford, Jeff Teague, Josh Smith and Zaza Pachulia remain from the 2011-12 roster.
In the Johnson trade, Ferry brought in five players and a first-round pick while not assuming much long-term debt despite Johnson being owed close to $90 million over the next four years. On the same day, Ferry also agreed to deal small forward Marvin Williams to the Utah Jazz in exchange for former All-Star point guard Devin Harris.
The Hawks are now rumored to also be back on the hunt to acquire center Dwight Howard, but the team remains a long shot since the All-Star big man hasn’t added Atlanta to his preferred destination list. More to come.