After weeks of speculation, Lou Williams is on the move to the Houston Rockets in exchange for Corey Brewer and a draft pick.
After watching their division rival get active in the trade market earlier in the week, the Los Angeles Lakers decided to make a move of their own, trading one of their best offensive players with an eye on the future.
According to The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Lakers have traded guard Lou Williams to the Houston Rockets for guard/forward Corey Brewer and a 2017 first round pick.
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Williams is currently averaging 18.6 points and 3.2 assists per game this season, while Brewer, age 30, is averaging 4.2 points and 2.0 rebounds per game. The Rockets are currently slated to select 27th overall in the 2017 NBA Draft.
The Rockets are sending Corey Brewer and a first-round pick to the Lakers for Lou Williams, league source tells @TheVertical.
I wrote about Los Angeles moving Lou Williams last week. I didn’t see the Rockets making the move for Williams, but they do fit the case of a playoff team that wanted to add one more piece to the roster for a postseason push. Having an additional year of control for Williams also allowed the Lakers to secure a future first round pick, which was essential.
From Houston’s perspective, adding Williams to join Eric Gordon off the bench is an excellent look. Williams gives them another shooter and creator in their second unit, and another player to throw right next to James Harden in the backcourt.
Houston adds Williams to its collection of shooters — and all-O/no-D players — to contest with the likes of San Antonio and Golden State in the West.
For the Lakers, Brewer is another veteran player to soak up space and minutes. He’s a poor shooter and sneaky poor defender. At age 30, he doesn’t fit the timeline with their younger players either.
It seems like Brewer will be just another player to help as guys like Brandon Ingram develop. He is also in place to make $7.6 million next season, although, that could be wiped away next season, allowing the Lakers to create an additional $5 million in cap space for next summer.
Should they need it, Lakers can create $5M in cap space just by stretching Brewer this summer.
Brewer is not the true prize in this deal. The 2017 first round draft pick was the true acquisition for the Lakers here, giving them another shot in the dark late in the first round. Until players declare or withdraw from the class, we don’t how deep or shallow this class will be. Still, getting the shot of adding another young talent under control is great and if this class does prove to be deep, the Lakers could be getting a steal.
The Lakers acquired a similar draft pick in the Jeremy Lin trade two years ago and acquired forward Larry Nance Jr., who was a perfect get for a late round pick and a solid rotation player for the foreseeable future.
If there’s any angle to question this deal for the Lakers, it’s wondering if they could’ve acquired the asset without acquiring future salary. Teams like Charlotte were interested, but perhaps they valued Houston’s pick over others. Maybe this was the best deal.
However, removing one of the few talented players on the roster — and further helping your chances of keeping your own 2017 first round pick — while adding another pick is a good look on the surface.
The Lakers wanted to get a first round pick for Lou Williams and increase their chances of keeping their 2017 and 2019 first round picks.
And what about Nick Young? Young could play some minutes at shooting guard, but he appears to be another one of Los Angeles’ key assets to trade. With one year left on his contract, Young makes sense for a contending team who could use more wing depth and some shooting on the floor. Unless the Lakers want to commit to him long-term in the offseason, they would be better off using him to acquire another asset or two.
Overall, Los Angeles did a good job of acquiring an asset for Williams and with two days left to make deals, perhaps they can find a taker for Nick Young and continue to add to their collection of assets.