On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Lakers announced a major shakeup in the front office and gave the keys to their basketball kingdom to Earvin "Magic" Johnson.
Johnson didn't take long to put those keys in the ignition and go for a spin. Before the end of the day, reports from The Vertical at Yahoo! Sports emerged that the Lakers had agreed to trade away Lou Williams for forward Corey Brewer and a first-round draft pick.
Considering the Rockets' record, the Lakers are likely to only receive a late first round pick. However, a previous late first round pick acquired from Houston in the Jeremy Lin trade turned into Larry Nance Jr., so LA should have confidence that its scouting department can find a hidden gem in the draft.
Brewer is likely a throw-in piece to match salaries, as the Lakers' primary goal was likely acquiring a first-round pick for Williams' trade friendly contract. However, Brewer's contract does extend into the 2017-18 seasons and will cost the Lakers slightly more than Williams' $7 million. Brewer is due $7.58 million for the 2017-18 season per Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders.
Williams took to social media to thank fans after the initial reports emerged.
Thanx for the love L.A, I've enjoyed my stay. — Lou Williams (@TeamLou23) February 22, 2017
Prior to being traded, the backup shooting guard led the team with 18.6 points in only 24.2 minutes per game. Williams also averaged 3.2 assists and 2.3 rebounds per game.
Another perceived positive byproduct of the Lakers trading away Williams is the abundance of minutes now available at the guard position late in games. Likely, Youngsters D'Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson will assume those extra minutes and earn valuable playing time late in games and help their overall development.
Of course, the Lakers are also in a race to keep their top-three protected draft pick, so trading away arguably the best player on the team could also be a move to increasing their odds at keeping their draft pick, i.e. tanking.