Heading into last week’s NBA Trade Deadline the Los Angeles Clippers were expected to make a big move. Although they didn’t ultimately land a superstar, they did end up getting a fairly significant deal done.
The Clippers traded Lou Williams, two future second-round draft picks and cash considerations to the Atlanta Hawks in return for Rajon Rondo.
Because the team had interest in signing Rondo this past offseason, the trade obviously makes a lot of sense. It addresses the one thing Kawhi Leonard desperately wanted them to deal with, all the while not giving up anything too big.
Now that the dust has settled, all sides are finally coming to terms with the ramifications of the transaction. That includes Williams, who was pretty shaken up by it.
In his first interview since the trade was made, Williams revealed his mindset coming out of everything.
“It took me a few days to get here because once I arrived, I wanted my energy to be positive,” Williams said.
“I wanted my experience to be positive. I didn’t want the guys to look at it like I didn’t want to be here. It wasn’t personal against the Hawks. I just needed time to figure out what was best for myself at this stage of my career, but now I’m here and I’ve been embraced. Seems as though guys want me here, so I’m ready to get back to work and make this push.”
Williams also opened up about the emotional Clippers player who called him after everything went down.
Once something is posted online it’s online forever. https://t.co/PGqv38x3w5
— Game 7 (@game7__) April 2, 2021
“It hurts,” Williams said. “Just to be candid, it hurts.
“I had some very emotional conversations with those guys after that trade, as well as Pat. Pat called me the other day a little emotional that my locker was empty. Pat and I were the longest-tenured guys on that group, we were there four years. We were on the team that they expected us not to make the playoffs and we put that group on our backs and we battled a very talented Golden State team.”
Obviously it’s sad to hear a player of Williams’ stature talk the way he’s talking, but the trade was one the Clippers had to make.
Rondo provides the Clippers with championship experience, leadership and basketball IQ – plus he knows how to beat the Los Angeles Lakers. He was arguably the third-best player on the roster during last year’s playoff run by the defending champs. And while he obviously comes with some off-the-court baggage, he is objectively an upgrade over Williams at this juncture.