Along with Montrezl Harrell—another throw-in in the swap—Williams has improbably helped lead L.A. back into the playoffs.
The veteran guard and young big man have formed one of the NBA’s most dangerous pick-and-roll partnerships.
[Doc] Rivers told Williams he saw a potential match. “He was like, ‘If you got a girlfriend, kids, whatever, get comfortable here,'” Williams says. “‘We are gonna do something special.'”
Rivers had less intel on a young big man who came in the Paul trade. “When we first got Montrezl [Harrell], it was, ‘Why didn’t [Houston] play him?'” Rivers says. “‘Like, what does he do?'”
[Last] month, Williams became the NBA’s all-time leading bench scorer. He is second in fourth-quarter points, behind only James Harden, and a robust 19-of-34 in the last three minutes of games when the score is within three points, per NBA.com. Williams is favored to win his third Sixth Man of the Year award, which would tie Jamal Crawford for most all time. Harrell has a case for finishing second in voting; no teammates have ever gone 1-2.
“The Rockets,” Williams says, “paid a healthy price for Chris Paul.”