Even though he was a solid midseason acquisition, it may be time to trade Sweet Lou.
After trading for natural scorer Lou Williams at the trade deadline, it looked for a few games like he may push the Rockets over the edge. However, his inconsistency and lack of defense were a liability at times. He certainly made up for it with his random offensive explosions and fun-to-watch factor, but will he be on the team next year?
Reasons against trading
Lou Williams ended up being a solid scorer off the bench for the Rockets during the last half of the season. Williams has always been a natural scorer, and he definitely looked the role while partially leading the second unit with Patrick Beverley and Eric Gordon. After not expecting to play in his first game, he ended up scoring 27 for the Rockets win. He ended the season with averages of 17.5 points, 3 assists, and 1 steal per game. He fit right into the Rockets’ 3-point barrage game plan, shooting up 5.5 per game at a 37% mark. It was another good season for Sweet Lou, and it may possibly end in another Sixth Man of the Year award.
The Rockets could continue to use his firepower off the bench next season. His ability to play the James Harden role off the bench and give the Beard some rest was very helpful for the team. He has been a consistently good player throughout his career, and he could be a productive player once again next season.
Reasons for trading
Even though Lou was an incredible offensive player for the Rockets, he was wildly inconsistent on both offense and defense. You never knew which player would show up, the one that dropped 25+ efficiently, or the non-factor on both sides of the floor. He is owed only $7 million next season, which is not too much for a player of his caliber, but that money could still be used elsewhere.
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He is also not completely necessary on this team, as the Rockets already have talented guards James Harden, Eric Gordon, and Patrick Beverley. It might be a good idea for the Rockets to trade Lou Williams and use his cap space to sign a defensive minded 3-point shooter.
If Daryl Morey can get a first round pick for Lou Williams, expect him to pull the trigger on that deal. Whatever the Rockets front office decides to do with him, there is no true wrong answer to whether the team should keep Lou or not.
*All stats via Basketball-Reference*