For Corey Brewer and a first-round pick, the Houston Rockets acquired Los Angeles Lakers guard Lou Williams.
The news was broken by none other than Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, and it’s the second major trade within three days. Houston, who has the NBA’s fourth-best record at 40-18, is the surprise team this year and will likely have the winners of the MVP, Coach of the Year and Sixth Man of the Year awards as they add Williams to a bench that was already ninth-best in the league on the shoulders of Eric Gordon.
Williams was the Lakers leading scorer at 18.6 points a night, and he’s barely averaging 24 minutes. He shot 44.4 percent from the field, 88.4 from the line and, most importantly, 38.5 from three.
Daryl Morey has surrounded James Harden with another shooter, and it’s evident that they are fully invested in their “live by the three, die by the three” play style. Brewer wasn’t someone who was heavily involved in that offense, and he averaged 4.2 points on 23.4 percent from downtown in about 16 minutes a night.
Thanks to Brewer’s lack of production, Houston’s bench is now 14.4 points better, and their 52.2 points a night is first in the league after unseating the Lakers.
Williams also brings with him a manageable contract, and he’ll have one more year left on his deal at the conclusion of this season. That’ll run the Rockets a nice $7 million, which is looking like severe underpayment with the year Williams is putting together.
The Lakers brought on Magic Johnson to run basketball operations after firing Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak, and the five-time NBA champion hired renowned agent Rob Pelinka as his General Manager not long before this deal was executed.
Los Angeles has their core in place with D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle, and Williams, 30, just didn’t fit in with the rebuild. At their disposal, the Lakers have a late first-round selection and can use Brewer in a later package for yet another draft pick or to a team who’s looking for a veteran presence.
After starting the year out on a rather high note, the Lakers have struggled mightily and are 19-39, putting them at 14th in the Western Conference.
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