Atlanta Hawks sign Lou Williams

The Atlanta Hawks have signed veteran guard Lou Williams to a multi-year contract, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations/GM Danny Ferry.  Per club policy, terms of the deals were not disclosed.

“Upon learning of his situation, Lou was a player we really targeted for our club,” said Ferry.  “He’s a young and experienced professional who is capable of providing leadership as a starter or a reserve, and his versatility is a tremendous plus for our backcourt.”

The 25-year-old Williams, is a 6-1 veteran who comes to Atlanta following seven seasons with the Philadelphia 76ers, and he has emerged as one of the best sixth men in the NBA.  He brings career averages of 11.3 points, 3.0 assists, and 2.0 rebounds in 455 games to the Hawks (.421 FG%, .337 3FG%, .798 FT%).

A hometown product who played his high school ball at South Gwinnett High School in Snellville, GA,  Williams was selected by the Sixers in the second-round of the 2005 NBA Draft.  The 45th pick overall, he was the recipient of the 2005 Naismith Award, signifying the nation’s top high school player and took home top honors in the state of Georgia (“Mr. Basketball”) after his junior and senior seasons.  Named to the 2005 McDonald’s High School All-America team, Williams was a four-time All-State player at South Gwinnett and led the Comets to a 103-16 record over his career.  He is also the second all-time leading scorer in Georgia high school basketball history.

Coming off a playoff performance where he averaged 11.5 ppg, 3.0 apg and 2.1 rpg in 27.5 minutes per contest, Williams was Philadelphia’s leading scorer in 2011-12 at a career-best 14.9 points per game clip.  Having led the Sixers in total points (956) despite not starting a single game, he became the first player to accomplish this feat since Dell Curry did so for Charlotte in 1993-94.  His play received praise from a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters, who voted him second behind Oklahoma City’s James Harden for this year’s KIA Sixth Man Award.  Third on the team in assists (3.5 apg), Williams also averaged 2.4 rebounds and 0.8 steals, and converted 40.7% of his FGs, 36.2% of his three-pointers and 81.2% shooting from the FT line.

Originally committed to play for the University of Georgia before declaring himself available for the NBA, Williams had his #23 retired at South Gwinnett High.