The Houston Rockets added to their already talented roster as they acquired shooting guard Lou Williams from the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for a 2017 1st round pick and small forward.
This is a good trade for the Lakers because the team is clearly building towards the future, so having the immediate impact of Lou Williams isn’t very useful at all since this is a team that isn’t contending this season or even next season. Sure, Williams was clearly the best player for the Lakers this season as he led the team with 18.7 points per game. However, Williams’ value is as high as it will probably ever be and the Lakers needed to maximize their return for him. Los Angeles did receive a valuable 1st round pick, but it is very likely that the player they draft will never be nearly as good is Williams is, yet the draft pick should at least give the team a long-term contributor. Meanwhile, the Lakers also acquired veteran small forward Corey Brewer in this trade. Brewer won’t ever be an impact player, but he does bring a positive attitude and tons of energy to a Lakers team that needs that type of influence. Brewer was having an awful season with the Rockets as he only was averaging 4.2 points per game despite playing 16 minutes per game. Brewer doesn’t make Los Angeles any better, but he is worth the risk since the Lakers are already a bad team anyway. Brewer is under contract for next season as well, but he is being brought in for his work ethic and locker room influence rather than his basketball skills. Overall, the Lakers are looking towards the future with their roster and clearly Lou Williams wasn’t part of those plans. We’ll see the type of impact that the 1st round pick will make for the Lakers, but at least this trade looks good right now for Los Angeles since it provides a glimmer of hope for the future.
I’m not quite sure that this trade makes the Rockets a great team, but it certainly makes this roster really deep. Patrick Beverley is the team’s starting point guard and he is a decent starter, but it was clear that the Rockets needed to add quality depth to the position. Lou Williams certainly provides that and he is definitely an upgrade over Beverley at the position. Beverley is still technically the starter, although Williams will continue to come off the bench and be a more productive option than Beverley. Losing a 1st round pick could hurt the Rockets long-term. However, Williams is under control for next season as well at only a $7 million salary which is a major bargain for the Rockets. Meanwhile, giving up Corey Brewer in this trade wasn’t very difficult to do for Houston since he was likely to get waived anyway as he was playing terribly for the team this season. The Rockets were already a playoff team before this trade happened, but we’ll see if they can now make a deep playoff run with the help of Lou Williams.