The Hawks and Lou Williams have both publicly admitted to having interest in a return to Atlanta after he helped bolster the team’s second unit down the stretch and into the playoffs. However, as free agency approaches, there have been varying reports about what Williams is actually looking for in terms of contract length. So, I thought it would be best to go over what everyone is saying.
After Atlanta’s playoff run ended, there was a report that Williams is looking for a multi-year contract in free agency, but just last week, Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report said, “League sources believe Lou Williams may return to Atlanta on a veteran minimum deal after his strong postseason performance.” Now, Michael Scotto, who originally reported that Williams was looking for a two or three-year deal, has named a couple of teams that also have interest in Williams — the Pacers and Bucks.
Obviously, one of Fischer or Scotto will end up being incorrect. Based on the way Williams talked about last year’s Hawks team and his Instagram post that suggested he would be returning, I believe there was a strong possibility he would come back to Atlanta on a discount to back up Trae Young. However, the addition of Delon Wright changes things substantially.
If Williams were to re-sign with the Hawks, there would be no guaranteed minutes, and he would likely become more of a veteran leader than an impact player. Williams isn’t stupid; he’s well aware his best days are behind him, but I’m fairly confident the veteran player/coach role isn’t one he’s ready to assume. As he showed in last year’s playoffs, he can still ball and carry a team to victory. Going to a team like Milwaukee, who doesn’t have a solidified backup point guard option and will also be competing for championships, makes a lot more sense for him… as much as I hate to say it. I would love for Williams to play for the Hawks next season, and if he loves Atlanta that much, perhaps he’ll still re-sign, but I’m much less optimistic about it today than I was a couple of weeks ago.