Despite the legal problems Ty Lawson seems to be in, quite a few teams around the league, including the Los Angeles Lakers, Detroit Pistons and Houston Rockets, are waiting to see what the Denver Nuggets are going to do about Ty Lawson, happy to take him off their hands.
Arrested for a DUI for the second time in seven months and a third time since 2008, Lawson obviously has something of a drinking problem or an inability to make some tough decisions regarding what or what not to do off the court. But he remains a very talented and productive point guard that’s at a very affordable price, although it’s going to be much more of a feeding frenzy after him if the Nuggets actually release him.
Lawson seems to be on the trading block since the free agency period began. The Nuggets took Emmanuel Mudiay in the draft, which means they have plans for a new starting point guard after some very good years with Lawson. The Sacramento Kings showed interest, but nothing happened there, and Rajon Rondo signed. With the rosters pretty much filled, trading for someone with two years and $25 million on his contract (very reasonable and even cheap considering he’s almost a double-double point guard) is complicated.
The Nuggets are tanking this season. The direction towards this decision has been slow, as they thought that making the change from George Karl to Brian Shaw would be smooth and successful. But Danilo Gallinari was injured in 2013-2014, and players didn’t connect with Shaw, and actually kind of celebrated when he was fired last season. A highly regarded assistant coach, maybe being a head coach is very different and too difficult for Shaw.
Despite the existence of the Philadelphia 76ers, the Nuggets are pegged to finish with the worst record in the NBA, because of their conference and the quality of their players, which keeps declining with every passing season. They might cut ties with Lawson, which might cost them about $8.3 million a season through the stretch option, or maybe they can get back some of that money based on why they’re cutting him.
In any case, once he hits free agency, plenty of teams will be after him. Although Lawson is a starting quality point guard, having him as a backup would be an incredible indulgence to have. He’s not a very good defender, so making him part of a two-point guard duo is difficult, especially because of his size (or lack of), but all three teams mentioned could use some better decision making at point guard, even if it’s off the bench. Lawson would be a good fit for any team that plans on playing fast-paced, spread the floor kind of basketball.