If you were surprised the Toronto Raptors opted not to work out a new contract with Lou Williams, you’re not the only one.
The reigning Sixth Man of the Year was caught off guard, too.
Williams, who reached an agreement with the Los Angeles Lakers on a three-year deal worth $21 million on Sunday, spoke openly in an interview with Basketball Insiders, saying the Raptors did not present him with an offer to stay and, “told me, basically, that I could walk.”
Here’s an excerpt from the Q&A:
“Just to speak candidly, it caught me by surprise that we didn’t get something done. I made it clear that I wanted to be there and I thought, with the type of year that I had, the feeling would be mutual. Unfortunately, it wasn’t. I think they wanted to go in a different direction and become more of a defensive-minded team. With the way that the playoffs ended, I think it left a sour taste in management’s mouth and they went out and picked up defensive players. They got DeMarre [Carroll], they got Cory Joseph, they got [Bismack] Biyombo – guys who they feel like can help them on the defensive end. They told me, basically, that I could walk. That was unfortunate, but it’ll work out for both sides. They got a guy who is from Toronto, Canada who will replace me in Cory and now I have an opportunity to continue my career as well, so it worked out for everybody.”
The guard’s 2014-15 award-winning campaign saw him reach a career-high in points per game with 15.5, and ranked third in the team’s offensive efficiency.