The Atlanta Hawks decision to trade hometown boy Lou Williams to the Toronto Raptors for what amounted to a salary dump came as a bit of surprise to a lot of people. Williams doesn't sound like he was surprised. He told Basketball Insiders' Alex Kennedy that he was in Los Angeles when he found out he was being shopped, but recognized that he might not be a fit for what Atlanta was trying to build.
"I was actually in L.A. [when the trade happened] - I was in L.A. working out and at the same time having some quiet time with my family," Williams told Basketball Insiders. "So I was out in L.A. and Danny Ferry gave me a call and said they were exploring some options. He didn't want me to be blindsided. About three days later, I got traded to Toronto."
"My time here in Atlanta, I realized that they were going in a direction that probably didn't fit my style of play and I probably didn't fit Coach Bud's style of play. I'm a guy that needs the ball to be effective and they really didn't need that from me. They were building a different core of a basketball team. I felt like it worked out for both sides, they got some talented guys in making moves this offseason and I feel great about the fit that I'm in."
So there were actual basketball reasons for the Williams trade in addition to trying to clear cap space. Atlanta has garnered some criticism for dealing Williams and then being unable to cash in on the space created by the move. It was pretty clear throughout last season that Williams was struggling to fit into Mike Budenholzer's offense. While part of that can be attributed to his recovery from ACL surgery part also had to do with his style of play.
I never got tired of pulling for Lou Williams while he was with the Hawks. He was a player that I had followed since high school. Here is hoping that he is fully recovered and can get back to playing the type of basketball he was playing before the injury.