Reigning Sixth Man of the Year Lou Williams has agreed to a three-year, $21 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers per reports from Yahoo! Sports and RealGM. The player also confirmed the news via Twitter a short time later.
Lake show — Lou Williams (@TeamLou23) July 5, 2015
Williams would become the first free agent to agree terms with the Lakers following a slow start to free agency. After striking out with signing top talents on the open market, the Lakers have been reportedly finalizing a trade to land center Roy Hibbert from the Indiana Pacers. With Williams adding to backcourt depth, LA suddenly has a respectable product that is well above the team that lost a franchise record number of games a season ago.
Williams, who is a 28-year-old scoring point guard, has explosive ability off the bench. He averaged a career-best 15.5 points per game in his lone season with the Toronto Raptors. Also, he is a corner threat from three-point range.
Williams' addition to the Lakers means that LA suddenly has a consistent deep ball threat from the corners. While Williams shot 34 percent from beyond the arc a season ago, he shot nearly 50 percent from the corners. If the Lakers can properly employ the post presence of Hibbert in the paint, Williams should be able to get plenty of open looks from his sweet spots.
With the additions of Williams and Hibbert, the Lakers' roster is beginning to fill out and looks like it could compete for a playoff spot. Considering the team fell into the top end of the lottery the past two seasons, the Lakers appear to finally be on the road to recovery.
While rotations have not been set as yet, LA has Jordan Clarkson, D'Angelo Russell, Jabari Brown and Williams as backcourt options. Kobe Bryant should exclusively play as a small forward with Nick Young and rookie Anthony Brown as reserve options at the position. LA's front court is still inexperienced with Julius Randle expected to start at power forward and Ryan Kelly and rookie Larry Nance filling in as backups. At center, the Lakers should have Hibbert starting with Tarik Black and Robert Sacre filling in as big bodies off the bench.
While the roster may not scream "Championship," it does show solid improvement. Getting Williams is a positive move that should be received with fanfare. The Lakers are actually beginning to look like an NBA team again.