Thursday’s NBA trade deadline frenzy continues with the Atlanta Hawks and Los Angeles Clippers deciding to get in on the fun. The two teams have agreed to swap veteran guards between them, in Rajon Rondo and Lou Williams. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski first reported the trade on Twitter. Let’s take a closer look at the players involved in the swap.
Clippers Address Glaring Backcourt Hole
This trade makes all kinds of sense for the Los Angeles Clippers. The team currently sits third in the Western Conference standings, with a 29-16 record. That said, this team is not without question marks, one of which is the point guard position. With Patrick Beverley still sidelined by a knee injury, the Clippers have had no reliable replacement at the top of their offense. Sorry Reggie Jackson truthers, he’s not the answer.
Los Angeles did well to address this weakness at the NBA trade deadline by bringing in Rajon Rondo. After winning an NBA championship as a member of the crosstown rival Lakers last season, Rondo has played sparingly for the Hawks this season. Expect him to have a much larger impact on a Clippers team that will welcome his services immediately. Rondo is averaging just 3.9 points this season, but his 3.5 assists in just 14.9 minutes per game are undoubtedly what the Clips have their eye on. Rondo will help take ball-handling pressure off of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. This will keep both superstars fresher for the defensive end come the playoffs.
Lou Williams Trade Returns Him to Hawks
To be honest, it’s impressive that the Hawks were able to get so much in return for Rondo. The focal point of Atlanta’s end of the deal is veteran shooting guard Lou Williams. A winner of the NBA Sixth Man of the Year award multiple times throughout his career, Williams has hit a major wall statistically this season. In 24.7 minutes per game, the 34-year-old is averaging 14.4 points, 3.5 assists and 2.3 rebounds this season.
Even with Father Time appearing to have caught up to Williams, there’s no denying that he has a few good games, if not seasons, left in him. It will be interesting to see how the Hawks fit him into what is already a crowded rotation.
Atlanta has been playing much better since Nate McMillan took over as interim head coach. The Hawks are a team that likely has a playoff run in them in the mediocre Eastern Conference. Even if his on-court contributions are limited, gaining an additional veteran in Williams will be beneficial for what is a young locker room overall. In addition to Lou Will, the Hawks obtained a pair of future second-round NBA Draft picks from the Clippers in this trade.