If the Knicks want to become a playoff contender next season, they need to take some of the scoring load off RJ Barrett. Bringing Lou Williams to the Big Apple would help the team do just that.
Fortunately for the Knicks, the Clippers are more than happy to let the veteran guard leave. According to Marc Stein, “many rival teams” expect Los Angeles to dump Williams in the coming weeks. At least some of the team’s motivation to deal with it is related to the chemistry issues that derailed the Clippers during last year’s playoffs.
On the pitch, Williams is still a talented individual scorer who can really help teams that need to add some punch to their lineups. The Knicks are a team that falls into that category. RJ Barrett fought hard during his rookie campaign to carry the offensive load on a nightly basis.
None of the Knicks added this offseason are ready to help him in that department. While Obi Toppin lives up to the hype, he is a great man who is not suited to creating offense with the ball in his hands.
Williams is not the young scorer the Knicks should be looking to pair with Barrett for the long haul, but he can help the young winger in dramatic fashion next season. New York should seek to conclude this deal to help build a more suitable ecosystem for Barrett to become a quality first option.
The good news for the Knicks front office is that they can absorb the final year of the Williams deal in open space. His $ 8 million salary is a reasonable sum for a player who has the offensive ability to average 20 points per game in the right system.
Williams’ lack of defensive skills makes him a postseason liability, but the Knicks shouldn’t worry about their potential playoff roster right now.