When the 76ers made Louis Williams their second-round draft choice directly out of South Gwinnett (Ga.) High in 2005, they said they were planning for the future.
The future, in a sense, arrived yesterday when the Sixers agreed to the terms of a 5-year contract with their restricted free agent guard. There are apparently a few minor nuances that need to be worked out before the deal can be finalized.
While additional terms of the deal were not immediately known, it is reasonable to assume the package for the fourth-year combo guard is worth somewhere between $25 million and $27 million.
Sixers president/general manager Ed Stefanski declined comment yesterday, but had said repeatedly that it was his intention to re-sign both Williams and restricted free-agent guard/forward Andre Iguodala.
When Stefanski added free- agent guard Royal Ivey to the roster last week, he said he viewed Ivey as an excellent complement to Williams in a backup backcourt.
Yesterday, Merle Scott, Williams' agent, told the Daily News, "It's a good deal for Louis. It gives him a chance to grow with a team that's building and allows him to stay with the team he came into the [NBA] with.''
The future the Sixers had been planning for with Williams began to significantly take shape last season, when he appeared in 80 games and averaged 11.3 points in 23 minutes.
As the No. 45 overall pick in 2005, he became the first high school player selected by the Sixers since they chose Darryl Dawkins at No. 5 in 1975. Williams put together 3,338 points, 768 rebounds, 650 assists and 355 steals as South Gwinnett High went 103-16 during his 4-year career.
He was the Naismith Award winner as the nation's best high school player in '05, when he was named a McDonald's All-American. He was Mr. Basketball in Georgia as a high school junior and senior. *