In a year of ups and (mostly) downs, one thing that has been consistent this season is the play of sixth man Lou Williams. This is Williams’ second season with the Lakers, and after putting up 15.3 points on 34% shooting last year, he has stepped up in a big way this season. Lou has played in all 53 games, 52 of which were off the bench.
He has been the leading scorer for the Lakers with 18.3 points and leads the team in 3-point percentage at 38%. He is great at creating his shot and feels comfortable pulling up from anywhere on the floor. Lou’s numbers are even more impressive when you realize that he only plays about 24 minutes a game.
He is excellent at creating contact and drawing fouls as he averages nearly six free throw attempts a game. Lou is so adept at getting to the free throw line that he ranks 16th in the entire NBA in total free throw attempts, ahead of guys like Gordon Hayward, John Wall, and Jeff Teague. Not bad for a guy who comes off the bench and averages about two quarters a game.
Since Lou does so much of his damage from the 3-point line, he is one of the best at getting fouled from long distance. Williams ranks tied for second in 4 point plays drawn in the NBA with four on the season.
Lou is capable of heating up with the best of them, and when he is on, he can score points in a hurry. Evidence of this was a game against the Grizzlies back in December. The Lakers fell by 3 to Memphis, but Williams poured in 40 points on 11/20 shooting, adding four 3-pointers.
In addition to his 40 point game, Lou scored 44 points against the Thunder last season, which gives him the most points scored by a Laker in a game in the past two seasons. He has been the most consistent scorer for the Lakers not named Kobe Bryant in recent memory.
As great as Lou has been for the Los Angeles his future hangs in the balance as the Lakers will look to groom Jordan Clarkson for the sixth man role, and D’Angelo Russell will be the starting point guard for the future. Williams has a very team friendly contract as he is set to make $7 million for this season and next.
Whichever team adds Lou will get an excellent scorer who can add needed scoring off the bench. Also, Williams can have those nights where he is red hot and takes over games. That alone is something worth a lot more than $7 million a year.
It will be unfortunate to see Lou go as he has been one of the bright spots of the past two Laker seasons. There were many games in which he was the sole reason that Los Angeles was competitive. He should be a heavily sought after free agent, as his contract, in addition to his scoring abilities makes him a player that can take a contending team to the next level.