3. Lou Williams
The Los Angeles Lakers traded Lou Williams to the Houston Rockets in February 2017 for the Rockets’ 2017 first-round pick and Corey Brewer. The logic then was simple: Williams was an expiring contract and instead of getting nothing for him, the Lakers traded him to a contender for a pick.
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That pick ended up being flipped to the Utah Jazz and then resulted in the team selecting Josh Hart with the 30th overall pick in the draft. Now, the Lakers can come full circle and reacquire Williams with yet another first-round pick.
It might not seem like Williams would be worth the 10th-overall pick but he certainly would be. He is easily the best sixth-man in the NBA and is the main reason why the Los Angeles Clippers are making the postseason this season. It is an added bonus that he is only owed $16 million over the next two seasons.
Skeptics might look at this trade and proclaim that the Clippers would never trade Williams but I would not give the franchise that much credit. This is the same franchise that traded Blake Griffin after extending him and perhaps a 10th-overall pick is worth two years of Williams to the Clippers.
It all depends on what the Clippers want to do moving forward but this would shave the extra cap to open up space for two max superstars. Two max superstars with a top-10 pick and an extremely valuable future pick (acquired in the Tobias Harris trade) is a great position to be in.
And in return, the Lakers would be getting their version of the Golden State Warriors’ Andre Iguodala without sacrificing significant cap space. That is a win for both sides.