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Doc Rivers admits he ‘was not having Lou’ when LA traded for Lou Williams


Doc Rivers knows the acquisition of Lou Williams taught him not to judge a book by its cover. The Los Angeles Clippers coach candidly opened up about his first reactions upon learning Williams was coming in return for dime maestro Chris Paul in a blockbuster trade during the summer of 2017.

“When we traded for Lou (Williams), I was not having Lou,” the Clippers coach admitted to Jeff Goodman of Stadium and Bob Ryan of The Boston Globe in a recent podcast. “I saw it obviously from afar, the obvious. I saw a guy that kept getting traded, right. I appreciate his offense, but I never thought he was this good.”

Prior to being dealt to the Clippers, Williams had been part of four teams in the last five seasons. The Clippers would be his fifth in six years.

Rivers was astute to look at his track record, but he was just as intelligent to give him a chance to see what he had to give.

As it turns out, Williams, a former Sixth Man of the Year, happened to be mired as an instant offense guy who could give teams a boost. Rivers’ system made him a true sixth man, deploying him for nearly 30 minutes a night and making him the focal point of the offense.

That spurred Williams to back-to-back SMOY awards in the past two seasons, as well as giving the Clippers the best bench in the league.

Rivers might have underestimated the gem he had in his hands after dealing his disgruntled All-Star point guard, but Williams’ success ultimately put the Clippers in position to attract free agents like Kawhi Leonard — a much better position than his defunct Lob City Clippers were ever in.