Lou Williams won the Sixth Man of the Year award while playing for the Raptors last season, but that wasn’t enough for the team to want him back once he became an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Williams provided a nice, consistent burst of offense off the bench, averaging 15.5 points on 40.4 percent shooting in 25.2 minutes per contest.
He would have liked to return, but the team decided to go in a different direction.
Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun:
Speaking on Tim and Sid on Sportsnet on Monday, Williams admitted he was “kind of a little disappointed I wasn’t allowed to stay in Toronto, but things happen, you move forward.”
Williams said he even offered the Raptors a chance to match the Lakers deal, but Masai Ujiri and Co. told him to take the offer.
“I think the playoffs just left a sour taste in everybody’s mouths,” Williams said, before adding, “we were all disappointed with how the playoffs ended. When things like that happen, you don’t know what to expect. I really wanted to be a part of what they were building there.”
The Raptors needed to make some changes after finishing the season ranked 23rd in defensive efficiency, while seeing their offense stagnate as they were swept out of the first round of the playoffs by the Washington Wizards.
Toronto added Corey Joseph on a four-year deal similar in price to what the Lakers paid to ink Williams, believing he could help facilitate while bringing more to the defensive end of the floor than Williams was able to on a regular basis.
Dwyane Wade has played 12 NBA seasons, and while he is still capable of performing at an elite level at times, there’s no question that his ability to remain healthy for the entirety of an 82-game regular season has long since passed.
Wade appeared in just 62 games for the Heat last season, and 53, 69, and 49 in each of the years prior.
He did finish last season as the third leading scorer in the Eastern Conference behind only Kyrie Irving and LeBron James, however, and believes that 21.5 points per game average proves he can play in this league for at least a few additional seasons.
Wade was at odds with the Heat over his contract this summer, before re-upping on a one-year deal that will pay him $20 million.
The problem with Wade isn’t his level of production; it’s the relative inconsistency. His team essentially has to count on him missing 20 games during the regular season in order to preserve him from a health standpoint, and that’s not a small number of games to be forced to play without your leading scorer.
Wade is likely good for a few more seasons, even if it’s eventually in a reduced role. But how he performs in 2016 — and how healthy he can remain — will be huge factors in the type of deal he’s able to secure on what will likely be his final multi-year contract.
The Mavericks came away with a couple of very nice pickups in free agency, stealing DeAndre Jordan away from the Clippers and taking a bit of a chance on Wes Matthews, who is coming off of a season-ending Achilles’ injury as a member of the Blazers.
But while players and agents are allowed to discuss these impending moves, teams are prohibited from doing so during a moratorium period that this year lasts until July 9.
Marc Stein of ESPN.com:
ESPN sources say Mavs owner Mark Cuban has been fined $25,000 for publicly discussing Mavs’ looming deals w/DeAndre Jordan and Wes Matthews
The reason for the moratorium on signings is because the salary cap for the upcoming season has not been officially set.
Larry Coon explains:
Free agents become free on July 1, but the salary cap is not set until the league’s audit is completed later in the month. Teams and players must wait for the salary cap to be set before trades and most free agent signings can commence. Teams may negotiate with free agents beginning July 1, but they have to wait until the moratorium ends before signing a contract.
Cuban was obviously excited to land Jordan and Matthews, and jumped the gun a little on publicly discussing the new additions. The league handed down what amounts to nothing more than a slap on the wrist.