Flip a coin. Flip it again. And then flip it once more. (Sure, go for a fourth time and get that even total.) That's how to view Lou Williams' 2014-15 season with the Toronto Raptors. Before every game you could flip a coin and it would be Heads "Lou will shoot the lights out" or Tails "Lou will shoot the team in the foot".
As anyone who's mathematically inclined will tell you, if you flip a coin enough times it eventually tilts towards an even 50/50 proposition. Similarly, the more basketball games you play in a season, say 82 for example, the more likely you'll find that the good and bad individual games of a player start to blend together. You may remember a horrendous end-of-quarter shot just as easily as you recall a singularly heroic performance. All this is to say, you eventually end up with Lou Williams, Sixth Man of the Year, waiting for a new contract.
This puts the Raptors in a challenging situation. You can watch the Finals right now and see J.R. Smith romp around for Cleveland and Leandro Barbosa speed by for Golden State. They're different from Lou, but for the sake of argument, they do similar things. Smith can win games by himself, and when he's off, he can lose them by himself. Barbosa, far less of an impact player now, has had a gentle version of this win/lose coin flip of a role for much of his career. For these teams, they are considered something of a luxury. (Having Steph Curry or Lebron James on your team will do that.) But for the Raptors, forever striving to find a reliable offensive and defensive identity, this category of player may not be the best way to spend money. The Raptors need surety, not chance.
But then you flip that coin again, and look harder at some box scores, and remember those hazy memories where Williams shot some ungodly number, or armed a comeback by his lonesome and you think: why not re-sign him?
So, flip the coin. Make the decision. What should the Raptors do with Lou Williams?