A day before the NBA’s trade deadline, the Clippers locked up sixth-man extraordinaire Lou Williams to a three-year contract extension that could keep him in L.A. until 2021 and assured that he will not be traded this season.
Williams, who was in the last year of a deal that pays him $7 million, agreed Wednesday to the deal with the Clippers. The new deal will pay him $24 million over three years, but only $1.5 million is guaranteed in the final year of the contract.
Williams, 31, said he was relieved to get the deal done.
“It was nice for this organization to commit to me the same way I’ve committed to these guys this year,” Williams said before practice at the Clippers’ facility in Playa Vista. “In years past, these scenarios don’t usually go my way. So it was nice for one to go my way and be somewhere I wanted to be.”
Williams is averaging career highs in points (23.3), assists (5.3), three-point shooting (38%) and free-throw shooting (90%).
He leads all reserves in scoring off the bench, averaging 22 points per game.
He’s had four 40-plus point games this season, including a career-high 50-point explosion against the Golden State Warriors.
Knowing that he wanted to stay with the Clippers during his extraordinary season, Williams said he let agent Wallace Prather and Lawrence Frank, the Clippers’ president of basketball operations, handle the negotiations.
“To keep my frustration level down, I always let my agent to speak for me and deal with everything,” Williams said. “We kind of have a preliminary conversation with where we are as far as terms and numbers, and then once we agree to that, I put it in his hands. And kudos to him and L [Lawrence] for getting it done. But it came together pretty quickly.”
Williams said he was tired of being moved around the NBA as a hired gun.
The Rockets then traded Williams to the Clippers last June as a part of the Chris Paul deal.
“I feel like I’m a quality basketball player and usually quality basketball players don’t get moved so much, but I understand,” Williams said. “I had a relatively cheap deal. Considering that the numbers that I had, it was an expiring contract and that’s enticing to teams trying to make a playoff run and they need bench scoring. I understand the business part of it.
“But personally, it’s like my kids didn’t know who to root for anymore. They were confused. They walk around with Rockets shorts and Lakers jerseys. They just didn’t know what was going on. So it’s just nice to have that one consistent to know you’re going to be somewhere for an extended period of time.”
5:45 p.m.: This article was updated to report details of the new contract.
This article was originally published at 1:10 p.m.