The Atlanta Hawks have lost their spark plug off the bench and key source of perimeter points for the rest of the season.
Lou Williams has torn the ACL in his right knee, he will need surgery and will miss the rest of this season (and likely the start of next one), reports the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Williams went down in the third quarter against the Nets and you knew it was serious when he had to leave the court in a wheelchair.
Williams is averaging 14.5 points a game — third highest on the team — plus adding 3.7 assists per game. He’s been coming in as a sixth man and providing outside shooting and a perimeter punch Atlanta needs (unless you think Devin Harris has another gear he just hasn’t been using).
Don’t be shocked if GM Danny Ferry starts looking around at perimeter help as the trade deadline approaches.
Last year, Russell Westbrook had a historic season on his way to the MVP award, with James Harden and Kawhi Leonard right on his heels. But heading into this season, the dynamic for MVP — and many of the NBA awards — feels very different and wide open.
In this latest PBT Extra, I lay out my preseason predictions for every award — LeBron James for MVP, Ben Simmons for Rookie of the Year, and on down the list. There are a few leaps and surprises in there (predicting Most Improved or Sixth Man before the season is a crap shoot, so why not gamble).
Now the predictions season is over, let’s get on to the games.
Jazz: Dante Exum undergoing surgery after shoulder injury
The following is a medical update on Utah Jazz guard Danté Exum who suffered a separated left shoulder on October 6 vs. Phoenix.
After further evaluation, Exum (6-6, 190, Australia) has elected to undergo surgery to stabilize the AC joint of his left shoulder. The surgery is scheduled to take place Tuesday, October 24 in Los Angeles. Further updates will be provided when appropriate.
Exum (obviously) didn’t receive a contract extension before today’s deadline, so he’ll become a free agent next summer. After one full missed season already and two years of limited effectiveness, it’s not even clear Utah will extend Exum a qualifying offer to make him a restricted free agent. The former No. 5 pick almost certainly won’t meet the starter criteria, which means his qualifying offer would be worth $4,333,931 (down from $6,619,903 based on his draft slot).