Clippers to acquire Hawks’ Rajon Rondo for Lou Williams

Hawks point guard Rajon Rondo directs the offense.
(Brynn Anderson / Associated Press)

After Clippers guard Lou Williams scored his 15,000th career point Wednesday in San Antonio, the 16-year veteran was given the game ball in the locker room following his team’s blowout victory.

“It’s just a pleasure and honor to have him on our team,” coach Tyronn Lue said.

He was on the team, it turns out, for another 12 hours.

Just before the NBA’s noon PDT trade deadline Thursday, the Clippers reached a deal with Atlanta to acquire Rajon Rondo in exchange for Williams. In addition, the Clippers are sending Atlanta a 2023 second-round draft pick via Portland and the Clippers’ own 2027 second-round pick, the team confirmed Thursday night.

A three-time winner of the league’s sixth man award, Williams will get a homecoming in Atlanta, where he became one of the last to follow the preps-to-pro pipeline in 2005. The Clippers receive the true point guard they’d been targeting for months in Rondo, with whom the team had been linked during free agency in November.

Rondo’s production this season — 3.6 points, 3.5 assists — is far below his career averages, but the deal signals that the Clippers believe he gives them a greater opportunity to win in the postseason than Williams, whose shooting dipped in recent playoffs.


With Boston, New Orleans and the Lakers, Rondo has burnished a reputation as a big-game player. It helps that he and Lue have worked together before, when Lue was an assistant in Boston.

While Williams was on a contract set to expire following this season, Rondo is in the first year of a two-year, $15-million contract.