Late Saturday night, we posted that Lou Williams had officially filed the paperwork to opt out of the final year of his contract with the Philadelphia 76ers, thus becoming free to sign with any team.
No less than a day later, Bob Cooney is reporting that interest in the Sixers sixth man is "significant" around the league.
A league source said that the interest in Williams throughout the league is "significant" and that a contract to land him could be "in the Thaddeus Young range." Before this past season Young signed a 5-year deal worth close to $43 million.
"It's impossible to gauge (how much a team would be willing to pay) because there is are so many teams who have money and Lou certainly is a good player," said Thorn. "The natural inclination is for teams who have money to spend some of it, of course. The last couple of years there are a lot of teams that have gotten way under the salary cap and I'm sure that Lou will get some interest from teams."
I can almost assure you that Lou has played his last game in a Sixers uniform. He's a great bench player – one of the best in the NBA – but the Sixers can't pay two bench players a combined 16 million per. Also, the combination of Evan Turner and a potential rookie – from this year's draft class – could help replace what Lou has brought to the Sixers during his tenure here.
Also from Cooney's article, on Spencer Hawes' free agency:
Starting center Spencer Hawes is an unrestricted free agent and, as the league source said, "There are a lot of teams interested in him. Who wouldn't be? He's a big man who can do a lot of things and is only 24 years-old." Several sources have said Hawes could garner anywhere from $5 to $7 million a season.
Hawes is as good as gone as well. Last year's first round pick, Nik Vucevic, can easily replace what Hawes brings to the table – if not more. Just be kind to the poor fans of the team who gives Hawes a 5 year, 35 million dollar deal.