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Lou Williams traded to Rockets for Corey Brewer, 1st round pick

The Rockets gain another shooter.

Los Angeles Lakers v Miami Heat Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers have traded Lou Williams to the Houston Rockets for Corey Brewer and a 2017 first-round draft pick, per the Vertical’s Shams Charania. The pick is unprotected.

Other playoff contenders, including the Wizards and Jazz, also pursued Williams, according to Charania.

This is the Lakers’ first move under new president of basketball operations Magic Johnson, and one many saw coming. It came quickly, though, as Johnson’s new position was announced mere hours before.

These teams are trending in different directions as the Lakers attempt to rebuild with their young pieces, while the Rockets have entered win-now mode behind MVP-favorite James Harden.

Why this trade makes sense for the Rockets

The Rockets are going it for it all this season and trail the Spurs by just four games for the No. 2 seed in the West. Their system runs on three-point shooting, and in Williams, they’ve added another potent shooter to an already elite-shooting backcourt.

Williams is scoring 19 points per game this season on 39 percent shooting from deep. He won’t be asked to score as often in Houston, and will instead be able to play within his own game, catching and shooting from range.

Brewer, on the other hand, was struggling in just 16 minutes per game in Houston, scoring four points on an ugly 41 percent shooting. He was shooting a much worse 23 percent from deep.

This trade is financially sound for the Rockets as well, as they even save a bit of money. Both Williams and Brewer are under contract for one more season after this one, with Brewer’s worth $7.6 million to Williams’ $7 million. The real cost was a first-round pick, which is likely to just be in the mid-20s.

Why this trade makes sense for the Lakers

Thirty-year-old Williams didn’t make sense on a young, rebuilding Lakers team, which has its focus on developing D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, and Brandon Ingram.

Adding Brewer won’t help much, but the late first-round pick could be worth something as a trade asset, or they may be able to strike gold in a deep upcoming draft. It was also important they add another pick, as their first-round pick this year becomes the Sixers’ unless it lands in the top three.

They aren’t risking much by swapping Williams backcourt pieces either, since both players are on similar contracts that are set to expire next season.