One of the smaller trades made at the deadline yesterday came when the Clippers decided to deal three-time Sixth Man of the Year winner Lou Williams to the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for Rajon Rondo. Logistically, the deal makes sense. L.A. has been in need of a floor general at the point guard position for the last couple seasons, and it wasn’t exactly a secret that they were searching for one.
However, in order to get the type of player they wanted, the Clippers had to give up Williams, who has been the heart and soul of the team’s bench unit for four seasons now. While the trade sends Williams back to his home state of Georgia, the veteran guard wasn’t immediately excited.
On Instagram, Williams said that he contemplated retiring:
“Yeah, so I thought about retiring yesterday. You give so much to an organization and you wake up and boom, it’s no more. Then in true Clipper Nation fashion, I was reminded that my talent and contribution was appreciated and It made me reflect on what’s to come. There’s plenty left in my tank and I’m privileged to continue my career in my backyard. LA, thank you. Love you. Appreciate you. Great times and memories!!! ATL, LouWillVille. Mr. Williams, welcome home.”
What’s even more interesting, is that just last month when someone on Instagram suggested he was going to get traded before the deadline, Williams responded with, “this my last stop champ. If I get traded, it’s going to be to LouWillVille.” Now if you know anything about Williams, you know that LouWillVille is in reference to his home in Atlanta, so he basically foreshadowed his own trade to the Hawks.
Although Williams being traded to his hometown team wasn’t met with happiness immediately, he’s fully on board now, which is great news for the Hawks. Williams has had a down season compared to what he typically puts up, but if the Hawks get the version of Williams who was averaging 20 points and five assists a game off the bench, it will give Atlanta a significant boost in the second unit, something this team has been sorely lacking this season.
The Hawks rank second-to-last in the league in bench points, and Williams is the perfect person to bring in and try to correct that issue. His veteran presence will also be welcomed in a young locker room full of guys who have never been to the postseason.
It’s a good thing for the Hawks that Williams didn’t decide to retire, and for the league as a whole, as he’s one of the most exciting and entertaining players to watch on offense. At age 34, he still has a lot to offer and will hopefully help Atlanta make it back to the playoffs for the first time since 2017.