We're about 12 hours away from the start of free agency but as most Raptors' fans are well aware, Masai Ujiri got things going yesterday with a reported trade of John Salmons to the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for Lou Williams and 2013 draft pick Lucas "Bebe" Nogueira.
To get the inside scoop on Williams and Nogueira, we turned things over to our friends at Peachtree Hoops.com, SB Nation's Atlanta Hawks super-site.
Managing Editor Kris Willis sent us this breakdown on Toronto's two newest Dinos:
Pre-injury, Lou Williams was everything the Atlanta Hawks asked for and more. He was an efficient scorer who could play either guard spot off the bench. Then the ACL injury happened just 39 games into the season. On the surface there wasn't much doubt he would recover from it but when you factor in the number of changes the Hawks made that next offseason then Lou was fighting an uphill battle. At the end of the season the Hawks replaced then head coach Larry Drew and his staff with Mike Budenholzer. Williams was still recovering from the injury so he got a very late start. He was doing non-contact drills by the time training camp rolled around but missed valuable on court time with his teammates.
Once he did get back on the court he predictably was tentative especially at going to the basket. As the season went on he started to get more comfortable but struggled to regain that efficiency that made him so appealing during his first season in Atlanta. I was expecting a bounce back season from him with a full year of recovery from the knee injury. With that said, we knew that his salary would be one that the team might look to move to clear roster space. I think Toronto is getting a good guard and a solid professional in Williams. I want to see him regain his attacking nature and his confidence this season.
Lucas Nogueira was a hot topic around Peachtree Hoops all season long. We were intrigued by his performance in summer league. He is an athletic big that looks like he will develop into an excellent shot blocker. His biggest weakness is that he has to gain weight/strength to be a viable defender in the low post.
His season in Spain was derailed by knee issues. He left Estudiantes at one point to seek treatment for knee pain that was later diagnosed as a severe case of tendinitis. He returned to the court and played well for the most part but the sense was there that he wasn't happy in Spain. Word came that he wanted to come to the NBA and if that didn't materialize he would probably look for other opportunities in Europe.