Magic Johnson made his first move as the Los Angeles Lakers’ president of basketball operations, trading guard Lou Williams to the Houston Rockets, league sources told The Vertical.
Johnson was directly engaged with Rockets officials on the trade Tuesday afternoon and evening, league sources said.
The Rockets will send a 2017 first-round pick and forward Corey Brewer to the Lakers, sources said.
The pick gives the Lakers a chance to have two first-rounders in this year’s deep draft class.
Williams is a significant acquisition for the Rockets, who add another superb scoring threat to their deep arsenal. Williams, 30, is averaging 18.6 points a game for the Lakers this season. He’s under contract through the 2017-18 season, earning $7 million annually.
Williams, who is having a career season, had been pursued heavily by several playoff teams – including Utah and Washington – which viewed him as a potent playoff piece and worked with his agent, Wallace Prather, who eventually negotiated the deal with the Lakers.
The Rockets are 40-18 and holding onto third place behind Golden State and San Antonio in the Western Conference standings. Under coach Mike D’Antoni, the Rockets have been an offensive juggernaut this season. General manager Daryl Morey has delivered superstar guard James Harden several significant new offensive weapons this season, including Eric Gordon, Ryan Anderson and now Williams.
The Lakers could have two picks in the draft, but will lose their own 2017 first-rounder to the Philadelphia 76ers if it falls outside of the top three in the draft lottery.
The Lakers are 19-39 on the season, near the bottom of the conference standings.
Brewer, drafted No. 7 overall in 2007, is in his 10th NBA season and averaged 4.2 points for Houston in 58 games this season.
Williams was drafted in the second round (No. 45 overall) by the 76ers in 2005.
In 12 seasons with the 76ers, Hawks, Raptors and Lakers, Williams averaged 12.8 points, 2.9 assists and 2.1 rebounds per game.
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