After Clippers watch Lou Williams scored his 15,000th career point Wednesday in San Antonio, the 16-year veteran was given the game ball in the locker room following his team’s blowout victory.
“It’s just a pleasure and honor to have him on our team,” coach Tyronn Lue said.
He was in the team, it turns out, for an additional 12 hours.
Not long before the NBA’s noon PDT trade deadline Thursday, the Clippers arrived at an deal with Atlanta to acquire Rajon Rondo in exchange for Williams. Furthermore, the Clippers are sending Atlanta a 2023 second-round draft pick through Portland and the Clippers’ own 2027 second-round pick, the group affirmed Thursday night.
A three-time winner of the league’s 6th man award, Williams will get a homecoming in Atlanta, where he got one of the last to follow the preps-to-pro pipeline in 2005. The Clippers get the true point guard they’d been focusing for quite a long time in Rondo, with whom the group had been linked during free office in November.
Rondo’s production this season — 3.6 points, 3.5 assists — is far below his career midpoints, yet the deal signals that the Clippers accept he gives them a more noteworthy chance to win in the postseason than Williams, whose shooting dipped in recent playoffs.
With Boston, New Orleans and the Lakers, Rondo has burnished a reputation as a major event player. It helps that he and Lue have cooperated previously, when Lue was a right hand in Boston.
While Williams was on an contract set to expire following this season, Rondo is in the principal year of a two-year, $15-million contract.