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Trade Machine: Lou Williams to the Magic

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We've been beating the dead horse that is the Andre Iguodala trade dilemma for the last year, so I'm going to give it a rest until after the upcoming road trip. Instead, I've turned my attention to another ill-fitting piece with trade value, Lou Williams

Lou's been a solid player during his tenure in Philadelphia, and exceeded all expectations the franchise had for him when they selected him 45th overall in the 2005 draft. Although undersized, he's an extremely talented scorer and gets to the free throw line at an absurd rate. The problem is – much like Evan Turner and Jrue Holiday – Lou needs the ball in his hands to be effective, and he's currently blocking Turner from playing and developing.

Another problem with Lou's fit on the Sixers is, although he's shooting a respectable 35% from beyond the arch, he doesn't stretch the floor like a Jodie Meeks or Kyle Korver. He has a relatively slow release and often hesitates when a playmaker sets him up for an open three.

The Sixers have enough guys who need the ball to be effective. What they need are guys who play off the ball, stretch the floor, and are willing to take and make open threes. Lou's not that guy.

Lou is a fringe starter in the NBA since he's not a true point guard and too small and defense-less to play shooting guard. His value is maximized when he's the primary ball-handler and isolation scorer on a second unit with a bunch of spot-up shooters for him to pass to. 

With that in mind I took my talents to the Trade Machine to see if I could find a match.

After looking at the other 29 teams' rosters and situations I came up with a few teams who would benefit from Lou Williams' services. I proceeded to the Trade Machine to work out a logical trade for both teams. Unfortunately, I only discovered one that would make sense for both sides, and I proposed it on twitter.

Orlando receives:

Lou Williams 

Philadelphia receives:

Daniel Orton

Chris Duhon

2011 1st round pick

For the Magic perspective I asked Ben, the Editor for Orlando Pinstriped Post. Here was his response via Twitter:

I'd do it.

Sounds good to me. Ben later tweeted that he actually wrote about Lou Williams being a potential trade target for the Magic last week. Here's what he had to say about Lou then:

Williams is another attractive fit for a lot of reasons, chiefly because he plays a similar game to incumbent Magic starter Jameer Nelson. A skilled pick-and-roll operator who averaged a career-best 4.2 assists last season, Williams can also call his own number and score from just about anywhere. He's a guy whose shot defenses must honor, a trait the Magic's backup point guard hasn't had since Keyon Dooling's days in Orlando blue.

From the Sixers perspective this would accomplish a few things. 

  1. It'd open up playing time for Evan Turner, and solidify Jodie Meeks as the only undersized shooting guard on the roster. Ideally Turner would start at shooting guard next to Holiday next season and Meeks would come off the bench. Lou only complicates things.
  2. It'd net the Sixers a mid-20s first rounder and a much-needed big man prospect in Daniel Orton. More draft picks equal more options and flexibility. With the Magic' pick the Sixers could select a guy like Jordan Hamilton or Kenneth Faried.
Besides the loss of an asset like Lou Williams, the downside of this trade for the Sixers would be taking on a contract like Duhon's. He's owed 3.5 million each of the next three seasons, including this one. If it were up to me he'd be riding the bench with the Sixers – with Turner receiving the minutes once occupied by Lou Williams – but I doubt that's the way Collins would play it. If nothing else he can make some spot-up threes, play decent defense and provide occasional relief for Jrue.

The most important part of the trade would be the pick and Orton.