What do all of these players have in common? They, among the 350+ players that qualify, each have a lower usage rate than Sixers guard Louis Williams.
First, a lesson in the advanced statistic -- Usage Rate.
According to basketball reference, "usage percentage is an estimate of the percentage of team plays used by a player while he was on the floor." It takes individual field goal attempts, free throw attempts, and turnovers then puts them next to team FGA, FTA, and TOV. It's calculated differently depending on where you look -- like ESPN's John Hollinger incorporates assists and team/league pace into the equation, while B-R doesn't. If you're looking to calculate it on a single game basis, Akis from Sactown Royalty has a great advanced stats calculator that we seriously recommend.
On a very very basic level, it judges the ball-hogginess of a player during his time on the court. Obviously the best players will have higher usage rates because they'll have the most plays run for them on the court. That's why guys like Kobe, Durant, and Carmelo are above him. But there is no excuse for Louis Williams to have the 14th highest USG% in the entire league. Absolutely none.
At a 27.5% clip according to BR (26.2% for Hollinger), Lou is highest on the team. Next highest among qualified players is Jrue Holiday at 22.1%. That 5.4% difference between the top two usage rates is the fourth most in the league, behind Carmelo Anthony and the Nuggets, Kobe Bryant and the Lakers, and Amare Stoudemire and the Knicks.
More after the jump.
Though he's only 24 years old, it is mostly accepted that Lou is not a part of this core the way that Jrue and Evan Turner are. He had his career year in a trainwreck Eddie Jordan offense and will never be a starter on a good basketball team. He's a poor man's Ben Gordon that's making $5 mil this season to steal minutes from people who could anchor this team in the future. With another $5 mil guaranteed for next season and $5.4 in 2012/13 as a player option, he could be getting in the way for two more seasons if Rod Thorn doesn't find a suitor for him.
Consider the loss to the Pacers, where Lou took just one shot in five minutes in the first half. In thirteen minutes in the second half, he took 12 shots and made 5. He got hot for a stretch, but cooled off almost as quickly. Unfortunately for the Sixers chances against a bad Indiana team, Doug Collins left him in during crunch time, and he responded by taking four shots in the last minute, making one. Rather than have Jrue run the offense through Elton Brand and have Thaddeus Young cut down the lane with Turner on the baseline, Lou swallowed the ball and burped out a few rushed shots until the game ended with the Pacers on top. Probably not a great idea to have the guy shooting 38% from the field this season taking your shots at the end of the game. I won't mention his two missed foul shots against the Pistons the game before. I won't do it.
He can get hot at times and he'll bail the offense out with off-balance three's as the shot clock expires, but when you put it all together, he's a very one dimensional basketball player and when considering his percentages, he isn't very good at that one dimension.
It would behoove Rod Thorn, Ed Stefanski, Doug Collins, and whoever else has a rooting interest in this team to trade Lou for a defensive-minded big man or an actual point guard to backup Jrue. He's just getting in the way of progress and if somebody wants him for something, anything, the deal should be made.
Trading Lou is becoming just as crucial as trading Andre Iguodala for the success (future more than present) of this team.