In a trade that should enhance the Houston Rockets chances of coming out of the West in 2015-16, the team has reportedly acquired ultra-enigmatic guard Ty Lawson from the Denver Nuggets in a five-play swap.
Lawson, 27, is considered one of the top offensive-minded point guards in the NBA. He averaged a near double-double with 15.2 points and 9.6 assists per game last season.
Though, the former first-round pick from North Carolina has long been considered a volatile personality in the locker room. That has only been magnified by two DUI arrests this year alone. Now checked into rehab, Lawson’s primary goal moving forward has to be to get his house in order off the court. If he does, the Rockets get a darn good player to pair up with James Harden in the backcourt. If ready to go, Lawson is an upgrade at the point guard position from the recently re-signed Patrick Beverley.
Headed to Denver in the deal are Kostas Papanikolaou, Pablo Prigioni, Joey Dorsey, Nick Johnson and a protected 2016 first-round pick. None of those four players were in the Rockets’ rotation this past season. Though, Papanikolaou offers some upside.
In reality, ridding themselves of Lawson while acquiring a first-round pick in return is the real story for the Nuggets here. After selecting Emmanuel Mudiay in the first round of June’s draft and signing free-agent guard Jameer Nelson, there was no real need for the veteran moving forward.
Photo: USA Today Sports