LOS ANGELES- Lou Williams has been one of the Los Angeles Lakers most consistent and productive players this season, but because he’s a 30-year old who likely won’t be a member of the next truly good iteration of the purple and gold his name has been floated in trade speculation and hypothetical scenarios all season.
On Tuesday all of the educated guesses that the Lakers would shop Williams came one step closer to reality when reports surfaced that the team was “likely” to trade him before the trade deadline.
Despite the chatter, Williams sounded non-plussed about the possibility of playing for a new team within the next several weeks.
"Just go out and hoop. Let the powers that be deal with it,” Williams said of his response to the rumors.
Williams’ other “response” was to drop 29 points on the Sacramento Kings in a Lakers’ loss, including 19 in the fourth quarter as Los Angeles attempted a furious comeback.
Closing quarters like that haven’t been totally out of the norm for Williams, as the Lakers have outscored their opponents by 2.6 points per 100 possessions with him on the floor in fourth quarters, the second-best mark on the team behind Tarik Black (four points per 100 possessions).
The performance also demonstrated exactly the sort of explosive, plug-and-play bench spark-plug a team would be getting if they traded for Williams, even if he’s not trying to think about that.
"I just play man,” Williams said. “I'm a little old school in my approach. I play for the team that I have the jersey on for. I don't really deal with hypotheticals. If something happens, it happens. If it don't, it don't. I'm going to compete for the Lakers as of now."
All quotes obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. All stats per NBA.com and Basketball-Reference.com. Harrison Faigen is co-host of the Locked on Lakers podcast (subscribe here), and you can follow him on Twitter at @hmfaigen.