Houston Rockets Acquire Lou Williams for Corey Brewer, First Round Pick
By Trent Arnold
According to multiple reports, the Houston Rockets have acquired Lou Williams for Corey Brewer and a 2017 first round pick.
Going into the trade deadline, the assumption was that the Houston Rockets would look to shore up the team’s depth, with hopes of moving on from Corey Brewer and his $7.5 million contract in the process. In one swift move, Daryl Morey has accomplished both.
With obvious needs at backup point guard and on the wing, the acquisition of Lou Williams solidifies a bench unit that’s been one of the league’s best since Patrick Beverley‘s return from injury. The move also adds firepower to one of the NBA’s most potent offenses.
With Williams now in Houston, the Rockets have the league’s two leading Sixth Man of the Year candidates. This makes the Eric Gordon and Lou Williams dynamic a particularly interesting one to watch.
As the league’s top two bench scorers, Gordon and Williams may seem similar on paper. However, Williams will certainly bring a different dynamic to the offense. With his elite ability to create for himself and others, Williams is more capabale of running an offense and scoring off the dribble. Gordon has been solid in this area, but he’s not on Williams’s level.
Williams is in the 87th percentile as an isolation scorer and is currently averaging 3.2 assists per game–a mark that would be third on the Rockets behind James Harden and Patrick Beverley.
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Williams also fits Houston’s ‘Moreyball’ scheme perfectly. He scores well beyond the arc (39%) and at the free throw line (5.9 FTA).
In fact, Williams may be the only player more crafty (read: annoying) than Harden when it comes to drawing fouls.
Parting with a first round pick (projected at 27) in a deep draft is a tough pill to swallow for a team that drafts so well. But, it’s a small price to pay to move on from Brewer and his contract.
That is especially true considering the Rockets also received an elite bench player who’s scoring 19 points per game and shooting 39% from three. Honestly, it’s a great trade for the Rockets and one of the few win-win trades that you’ll see.
The Rockets parted with Brewer and solidified their second-unit offense, which could solidify them as contenders. Meanwhile, the Lakers gave themselves a better chance of keeping their top-3 protected pick and added a late first rounder. Additionally, waiving Brewer (with the stretch provision) would open up $5 million in cap space this offseason if they need it.
This trade improves Houston’s deep playoff run chances and gives the team more flexibility in the offseason. Two things that are key in building a championship team around Harden going forward.
Houston fans have had a love-hate relationship with Corey Brewer through the years. However, it would be hard to find a better person or professional. Brewer played a significant role on a very likable Rockets team, and will hopefully be successful in Los Angeles. As a great locker room guy, he’ll be able to mentor the Lakers’ young players as they develop.
— Corey Brewer (@TheCoreyBrewer) February 22, 2017
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A special thanks to you too, Corey. There’s no 2015 Western Conference finals run without you. Best of luck for the future.