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Report: Clippers guaranteeing Lou Williams’ 2020-21 salary year in advance

Golden State Warriors v Los Angeles Clippers - Game Six

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 26: Lou Williams of the Los Angeles Clippers waves goodbye to the crowd after a game against the Golden State Warriors at Staples Center on April 26, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Cassy Athena/Getty Images)

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Last year, the Clippers offered Lou Williams a contract extension worth $8 million annually that wasn’t even fully guaranteed. Clippers executive Jerry West predicted Williams would have drawn $11 million per year on the open market.

Williams agreed with West’s assessment.

Williams also signed the three-year extension.

“I can’t wait around,” Williams said. “Sometimes you’ve got to make decisions for yourself, do what’s best for your family, and hopefully everything else falls into place.”

Williams desire to stay with the Clippers could’ve backfired. After all, they had just sold Blake Griffin on becoming Clipper royalty and having his number retired then traded him a few months later.

But the Clippers are showing more loyalty to Williams, whose $8 million 2020-21 salary was just $1.5 million guaranteed until July 15, 2020.

Shams Charania of The Athletic:

There’s a chance the 32-year-old Williams falls off or gets injured in the next year and wouldn’t be worth $8 million in 2020-21. But that’s unlikely.

Williams has blossomed into a near-star and elite sixth man since signing this extension. His deal is a bargain for the Clippers. He could decline and still be worth that salary.

There’s additional value in making him feel comfortable in the organization – a gesture the Clippers surely hope other players (*cough* Kawhi Leonard *cough*) will notice.