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The additions of Ibaka and Luke Kennard (via trade with Detroit) are just the beginning; many rival teams also expect the Clippers to trade Lou Williams in their quest to create a fresh-start environment after they blew a 3-1 series lead to the Nuggets.
According to league sources, the Celtics were hoping to land scoring help for their bench, but Tyreke Evans wound up staying with Memphis, and Lou Williams was pulled off the market and signed to a three-year contract extension.
“There were some things that we would have been tempted by for the right deals, but the right deals didn’t appear,” said Ainge. “And, by the way, some of those deals that we were trying to get, those deals didn’t happen for any teams that were looking for the similar players.”
Albert Nahmad: Lou Williams now can’t be traded for six months.
Tuesday’s revelation that Williams and the Clippers are discussing the framework of a contract extension could compel teams to bring their best offers sooner as well. According to a person with knowledge of the talks first reported by ESPN, the possible deal would likely be for between two and three years at approximately $8.5 million annually. As of late Tuesday night, however, there was no deal done. The person spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation. Rival teams expected Williams would be sent to the highest bidder by the deadline, but the Clippers insisted that re-signing him remained a possibility.
So while sources confirmed again that the Celts still have interest in Memphis’ Tyreke Evans and the Clippers’ Lou Williams, both of whom are in the last year of their contracts, it’s doubtful that Ainge would do anything amounting to either being the only real return in a deal for Smart. There would have to be more.
Philadelphia is currently in dire need of Lou Williams’s second unit shot creation, but Minnesota, Boston and Oklahoma City have also expressed interest, per sources. A first round pick should get the deal done. But the Clippers are also asking for young prospects to add into their new, two-way inspired, development culture, sources say.
But another source discounted the notion. Toronto’s young guys make too little, and the Raptors don’t want to move their bigger names. Still, Williams’ name has surfaced amid Raptors rumors. “But Williams is a scorer, not a shooter, and if a team needs shooting, he’s not the guy you go after,” one league source said.
Adrian Wojnarowski: [The Clippers are] very much open for business. I think there’s probably a little bit more on the board right now for Louis Williams than there is for DeAndre Jordan. I think it’s entirely possible that DeAndre Jordan does not get traded this week because, again, anybody who trades for him wants to know what it’s gonna cost, what an extension would look like. And not everybody in the world is ready to pay him four years and $115 million. There are teams who want him and I think would pay him, but the Clippers are looking at this—they don’t want to take back a bunch of future money. They want to get money off. Their preference ultimately would be to let him walk instead of taking back a bad contract or a couple of bad contracts, just to get back a late first-round pick.
My question is: Do you believe the Clippers will make the playoffs this year? David Aldridge: No, I don’t. I expect them to move Lou Williams by Thursday, and maybe Jordan, too. And that won’t leave them with enough, in my opinion, to make a postseason run past Denver and/or Portland — who both have much more stable core groups, even if either makes a deal by Thursday.
Even with the planned signing of Greg Monroe today, the Celtics are still in business until next Thursday’s NBA trade deadline and beyond. According to two Western Conference sources, the Celts are still in pursuit of Lou Williams and Tyreke Evans. They have had discussions regarding others, but those two appear to be the main targets as the C’s look to add scoring off the bench.
The key in each of these cases is how much will be required to make a deal. The Celts are said to be willing to part with assets, but Ainge seems to be again holding the line on what he believes is proper value. The strategy has frustrated other clubs and a percentage of the fan base, but it doesn’t appear to be changing. Memphis has been asking for a first-round pick for Evans, but the Celtics haven’t yet been willing to go there. Denver has reportedly offered Emmanuel Mudiay and a second-round pick, and while the C’s could propose something similar, the second -round pick (or picks) they could send would not be very high.
Also, sources say the Celts are being careful with their pursuit of wings. As much as they might be able to gain some level of help at the position, they have told people they do not want to do something that would too greatly impede the progress of Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, who, they believe, will be even better by the postseason because of the minutes they have been getting all year.
Several clubs need second-unit scoring, and by next Friday, Louis Williams could very well be on his fifth team in three years. Or, he could stick until summer and re–sign with the Clippers, a bedrock in a new foundation. Either way, Sweet Lou does not stress. “I’ve been in this thing a decade,” he smiles, and heads for the playground, to a rhythm all his own.
The Clips’ Louis Williams is also the subject of plenty of trade rumors, as Toronto, Boston, Detroit and Miami are all seen as places he might wind up by the deadline. The Heat would like Williams to take the place of the injured Dion Waiters.
Marc Stein: [The Clippers] are going to get a first-round pick for Louis Williams. I believe that there is—I don’t know where yet—but I believe there is sufficient interest in Lou Williams, that somehow, some way, they get a first.
The LA Clippers are not planning on tearing down the roster and trading away their best players before the Feb. 8 trade deadline, according to head coach Doc Rivers. “We make this trade and then everyone thinks we’re just trading everybody away. That’s not true,” Rivers said Tuesday when addressing the Griffin trade for the first time publicly.
President of basketball operations Lawrence Frank took a different stance than Rivers and was hesitant to declare the Clippers are finished making further trades, given the team initially had no intention of trading Griffin until talks with the Pistons materialized within the past week.
“You never know,” Frank said. “If you were to ask me the question a week ago whether we were going to trade Blake Griffin, the answer would have probably been different than why we’re standing here today. You never know how it’s going to unfold with the trade deadline looming. There will be a lot of activity, so we’ll see how it plays out.”
Don’t be surprised if Jordan and hot-scoring guard Lou Williams both obtain change of address cards by the Feb. 8 trade deadline. A source said the Clippers are still open to re-signing the two free-agents-to-be at the right price. To acquire Jordan or Williams, talented young players, talented veterans with short contracts and draft picks would be attractive trade bait.
League sources say that the Clippers are still pursuing deals involving DeAndre Jordan and Lou Williams. Packaging an unsavory contract (e.g., Austin Rivers or Danilo Gallinari) along with Williams’s bargain of an expiring deal is a possibility.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Clippers will continue to discuss contracts extensions at the right price, while engaging teams in trade talks on DeAndre Jordan and Lou Williams. They’ll try to do a hard thing in the NBA: Rebuild on the fly with younger players/picks, without gutting roster.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Sources: Clippers will continue to pursue packages of young players and picks in talks for DeAndre Jordan and Lou Williams.
Sam Amick on Lou Williams: “He’s having a great year. I do think he gets moved, [but] I don’t know where. Certainly the Cavs could obviously use him if you look at their bench situation. Derrick Rose has all kinds of health problems and he’s just not the guy he used to be. Dwyane Wade has had some really good moments this year, but he’s 36 years old. Lou Williams would certainly upgrade their bench, although he wouldn’t help their defense. The Clippers love him, but I think it’s too hard to pass up the chance to cash in on him and get an asset back like a first-round pick. They want a first-rounder, no question. I don’t know what percentage I would put on it, but there is still some possible interest in the Clippers and Lou agreeing to an extension so that he can stick around. But he’s 31. You know the formula here, Alex. That’s just not [a move that lines up] if you’re trying to rebuild and turn a new leaf after Chris Paul leaves, you aren’t necessarily paying big money to guys who are going to be entering their mid-30s. So I think Lou probably goes [elsewhere].”
ESPN Cleveland: Windhorst: Things can change but right now the #Cavs are not actively involved with the Clippers, so you can take DeAndre Jordan and Lou Williams off your list, for now. Same with the Lakers, they aren’t currently talking.
“I would like to be here, man,” he continued. “I’m putting everything on the line out here for this organization, and you know the season I’m having I would like to be rewarded for it and just appreciated. “I’ve played on three teams in six months (Lakers, Rockets), and I’ve been impactful on all three of those teams. A lot of that stuff is out of my control, especially with how I’m playing. I’m doing everything I can in my power. Hopefully it’s just appreciated.”
The Cavs contacted Sacramento about a possible trade for guard George Hill, and the New York Times reported that Cleveland has also engaged the Los Angeles Clippers about DeAndre Jordan and Lou Williams. The Times said the Cavs have floated J.R. Smith, Tristan Thompson, and Iman Shumpert in possible trades — all of them have been here for each of Cleveland’s last three Finals runs and have seen their roles diminish this season for one reason or another. The Cavs are 1-4 in their last five games and privately their marquee players have suggested the team needs a roster upgrade or two. “I like our group,”Tyronn Lue reiterated. “Until we figure out rotations and getting guys healthy and what we have … I like what we have.”
Tomer Azarly: Lou Williams with an amazing answer when asked about being a highly coveted piece as the trade deadline approaches. I’m sure #Clippers will enjoy this.
Adam Wexler: The recent exchange b/w departing #Rocekts @Louis Williams & @Sam Dekker – pic.twitter.com/PbfUnHl88j
Brad Turner: Can confirm Chris Paul informed Clippers he opt-in on his deal and will be traded to Rockets for Patrick Beverely, Lou Williams, Sam Decker
Excluding all the rumors, what do you think the Houston Rockets need to do to dethrone the Warriors? Louis Williams: Well, they got to get better. It’s interesting because I see myself in a lot of trade rumors so I don’t know [Laughs]. We’ll see what happens this offseason.
Marc Stein: Free Agency Scuttle: Houston is making Ryan Anderson/Lou Williams/Patrick Beverley available via trade to create summer spending flexibility
As most players anxiously thumbed through their phone using the plane’s Wi-Fi connection, a Lakers official alerted them they made a trade to the Houston Rockets. “Everyone was looking at me,” Lakers guard Nick Young said. “I thought I was gone.”
Eric Pincus: The Lakers and Rockets deal for Lou, Brewer was on faith, no physicals required in deal @BBallInsiders
Marc Stein: Houston’s Lou Williams deal has been submitted the league office and a trade call to make it official is booked this afternoon, sources say.
Calvin Watkins: Lou Williams is taking his physical now with the Rockets.
Eric Pincus: I heard last week that James Harden specifically wanted the Rockets to bring in Lou Williams, wasn’t sure where the Lakers were on that
Ramona Shelburne: There’s been questions around the league of who to call with the Lakers in advance of Thursday’s trade deadline. It’s unequivocally Magic. Magic is the person who made the trade with Houston for Lou Williams. He’s the person working the phones.
Nick Young: Good luck @TeamLou23 aka Claud one of the realist teammates I had but aye man all debt cleared right I dnt owe you nothing 👀 lol
Shams Charania: Playoff contenders, including Jazz/Wizards, pursued Lou Williams, worked with his agent Wallace Prather on a deal. Major move for Houston.
Sam Amick: The Lakers land Houston’s first-rounder in this year’s draft, and Corey Brewer, for Lou Williams. Vertical first on the deal.
David Aldridge: No protections on first-rounder Rockets are also sending Lakers along with Corey Brewer for Lou Williams.
Adrian Wojnarowski: The Lakers are finalizing a trade to send guard Lou Williams to the Houston Rockets, league sources tell @The Vertical.
Shams Charania: Lakers are in strong discussions to trade guard Lou Williams to the Houston Rockets, league sources tell @The Vertical.
Adrian Wojnarowski: The Rockets are sending Corey Brewer and a first-round pick to the Lakers for Lou Williams, league source tells @The Vertical.
Chris Haynes: Charlotte aggressively pursuing Los Angeles guard Lou Williams, league sources tell ESPN. As @Marc Stein notes, most likely to be dealt.
Marc Stein: The one move widely expected from the Lakers’ Magic Johnson-led front office this week is trading Lou Williams. No need for LW when tanking
Alex Kennedy: Teams continue to believe Lou Williams will be traded before the deadline. No change, even with the Lakers changing management.
Lakers Nation: Magic Johnson says that the majority of trade calls he’s taken have been about Lou Williams (via @SpectrumSN)
Lakers Nation: “If you’re gonna get him, it’s gonna take a lot to get him” -Magic Johnson on trading Lou Williams (via @SpectrumSN)
Wizards general manager Ernie Grunfeld has been making the calls as opposed to just fielding them, according to NBA sources, so it’s promising for Washington fans that someone is coming—and guard Lou Williams, the Los Angeles Lakers’ leading scorer, would be an interesting fit.
Adrian Wojnarowski: The Wizards feel like if there’s a wing player that they can get out in the trade market… Lou Williams, with the Lakers, they have interest in; Bojan Bogdanovic, with the Nets… Washington has shown an inclination to give up a future first-round draft pick, potentially even in this draft to get out a veteran who may even turn out to be a rental for them.
On Tuesday, a general manager confirmed that the Lakers have, in fact, shopped Williams and seem likely to move him prior to the deadline.
Eric Pincus: The Lakers like Lou Williams and his contract, same with Bass – Hibbert market very soft, team focused on preserving cap space
Mark Medina: I’m told Lou Williams will stay a Laker.
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