Dennis Wierzbicki-US PRESSWIRE

2012 NBA Free-Agency: Atlanta Hawks sign Lou Williams to a multi-year deal

According to ESPN.com, the Atlanta Hawks have signed free-agent shooting guard Lou Williams to a multi-year deal on Tuesday, July 10, with the official terms of the contract yet to be released.

Williams, who is from Atlanta, averaged 14.9 points and 3.5 assists per game last season with the Philadelphia 76ers. Williams is now the 3rd native-Georgian on the Hawks’ roster, along with Josh Smith and Anthony Morrow.

This could potentially be a move to entice Dwight Howard to sign a contract extension if he were traded to Atlanta. Howard and Smith are known to be best friends from their AAU days (Howard was Smith’s best man at his wedding), and Howard is also known to be on good terms with Morrow. While I don’t know the personal relationship between Howard and Williams, GM Danny Ferry could be a play on their Atlanta ties.

Even if the Hawks never do trade for Howard, Williams is an excellent pick up alone in his own right. To relegate him as a signing just to entice Howard would be foolish. The Hawks have needed a scoring guard off the bench ever since Jamal Crawford’s departure, and Williams fits the bill quite perfectly.

Ferry has been a mastermind since taking over as General Manager two weeks ago, already ridding the Hawks of their two worst contracts through trades, and signing a proven scorer in Williams.

Tags: Anthony Morrow Danny Ferry Dwight Howard Jamal Crawford Josh Smith Lou Williams Orlando Magic Philadelphia 76ers

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