Lou Williams had a great 2014-15 season for the Toronto Raptors, winning Sixth Man of the Year. You’d think a team would want to keep around a player who averaged 22 points per 36 minutes and often created his own shot, but Raptors GM Masai Ujiri had other priorities, and Williams agreed to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers. Lou still took the opportunity to call out the Raptors for not even offering a deal. Williams first posted a message on his Instagram to voice his displeasure, if a bit vaguely:
Williams later went on The Tim and Sid Show on SportsNet Canada to explain his Instagram post, and revealed that the Raptors never offered him anything. It clearly didn’t sit well with Lou:
Continuing his media tour, Williams sat down with Basketball Insider for an interview, and went even further:
“Just to speak candidly, it caught me by surprise that we didn’t get something done. I made it clear that I wanted to be there and I thought, with the type of year that I had, the feeling would be mutual. Unfortunately, it wasn’t. I think they wanted to go in a different direction and become more of a defensive-minded team. With the way that the playoffs ended, I think it left a sour taste in management’s mouth and they went out and picked up defensive players. They got DeMarre [Carroll], they got Cory Joseph, they got [Bismack] Biyombo – guys who they feel like can help them on the defensive end. They told me, basically, that I could walk.”
Even though Lou didn’t like how he was treated, it’s clear that he understands what’s going on. Ujiri took a look at the Raptors and saw a team whose ceiling was too low, so he understandably is trying to shake things up in a big way. To do that, he was going to have to let some good players go if they didn’t fit the new vision. Williams was a casualty of that, and now he gets to (has to?) play in the same rotation as Kobe Bryant and (unless he gets moved) Nick Young. The Lakers’ backcourt will be getting shots up next year, you can be sure of that.