Lou Williams on extension with Clippers and kids not having to wear multiple jerseys
LOS ANGELES – The LA Clippers approached the NBA’s trade deadline with a couple of options in regards to their highly coveted stars DeAndre Jordan and Lou Williams. While Jordan’s status still remains up in the air as of Wednesday afternoon, news surfaced that Williams and the team had come to terms on a three-year extension to remain in Los Angeles.
“It’s comforting, especially with so many moving parts on this team, the trade deadline coming up so it was nice for this organization to commit to me the same way I’ve committed to these guys this year,” Williams said prior to Wednesday morning’s practice. “In years past, these scenarios don’t usually go my way, so it was nice for one to go my way and be somewhere I wanted to be.”
After a couple of relatively quiet weeks in regards to extension talks, ESPN reported that talks had gained significant traction on Tuesday night on a three-year deal, and by Wednesday morning’s practice, both sides had agreed to a deal.
“To keep my frustration level down, I’ve always allowed my agent to speak and deal with everything,” said Williams. “We kind of had a preliminary conversation where we are as far as terms and numbers, and then once we agreed to that, I put it in his hands. Kudos to him for getting it done. It came together pretty quick.”
Williams had been kind of a journeyman over the last couple of seasons, playing with the Atlanta Hawks, Toronto Raptors, Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets, and now the Clippers since the start of the 2013-14 season. The guard who came into the NBA out of high school has been a solid sixth man throughout his career, averaging 12.8 points, 2.1 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 0.9 steals per game on 41.7-percent shooting from the field, 34.5-percent from beyond the arc, and 82.7-percent from the free throw line in his 12-year career prior to his first stint with the Clippers.
Now in his first year with LA’s other team, Williams has averaged career-highs across the board with 23.3 points, 2.5 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 1.1 steals, and 2.8 three-pointers per game on 43.9-percent shooting from the field, 38-percent from downtown, and 90-percent from the line.
The Clippers have been playing far better than expected considering the incredible amount of injuries they’ve had to deal with this season, and much of that has to do with the incredible play of Lou Williams. However, as of late, it’s evident that some of trade talk has worn down on some of the players. That’s why Williams says it was important for him to get locked into a new deal for piece of mind and to get back to playing basketball.
“It’s important,” added Williams. “I feel like I’m a quality basketball player, and usually, quality basketball players don’t get moved so much, but I understand I had a relatively cheap deal considering the numbers I had, an expiring contract, and that’s enticing to teams trying to make playoff runs that need bench scoring.
“I understand the business part of it, but personally, it’s like my kids didn’t know who to root for anymore. They were confused. They were walking around with rockets shorts and lakers jerseys. They didn’t know what was going on, so it’s just nice to have that consistency and know you’re going to be somewhere for an extended period of time.”
Williams will certainly be a big part of the Clippers’ future as they pursue a playoff berth this season as well as developing some of their younger players.
Clippers guard Austin Rivers was seen getting shots up prior to Wednesday’s practice, and is set to be a full participant in the workouts. His availability for Friday night’s road matchup against the Detroit Pistons will be based on how the practice goes. He’s said over the last couple of weeks that he’s targeting a return on February 9th against the Pistons, so we should know more in the days leading up to the game.
Guard Jawun Evans, who has been out with both a groin and abdominal strain, was seen doing stationary bike work prior to Wednesday’s practice. As of Saturday, Evans was not doing any kind of on-court activity whatsoever as the main focus was rest and treatment for his injury. Unless anything changes in the days leading up, it’s likely the Clippers won’t see him suit up prior to the All-Star break.