The main reason the Clippers are considered a favorite to win it all this season is their bench, led by the best bench duo in a long time – Lou Williams and Motrezl Harrell. Their pick-and-roll dismantles opponents, and when the Clips need a bucket in the 4th, Lou is there to get the job done. Hard to imagine, it was close to never happening.
After his first seven years with Philly, Williams became somewhat of a journeyman. Two years in Atlanta, then he got traded to Toronto. After becoming a free agent, Williams signed with the Lakers. On February 23rd, the Lakers traded him for Corey Brewer to the Rockets, and three months later, the Rockets traded him (and a lot of other players and picks) to the Clippers for Chris Paul.
Any player will tell you that being traded is a blow to your confidence, and a major life changed. Williams started that season as a Laker continued as a Rocket and finished as a Clipper. Being traded so much make him think about retiring. (via ESPN):
“I was just at a point I was not sure I was adding value to these teams. I was on three teams in a span of six months, and I was kinda’ at a crossroads. I didn’t really understand what was happening in my career. That was the first time experiencing something like that. I weighed my options, and if I didn’t have value, I felt like retirement would’ve been something I would’ve been at peace with at that point.”
Doc Rivers convinced him to stay with the Clippers, and that decision gave him some of the best years in his career. Lou was never sou appreciated as he is today and is on a championship team. One of the reasons the Clippers survived and played hard last year after everyone wrote them off is because of players like Williams, Harrell, or Beverly. Players that moved a lot couldn’t find an NBA home and appreciate every minute on the NBA floor.