The Denver Nuggets made it clear they were probably headed in a new direction when they drafted point guard Emmanuel Mudiay in the 2015 NBA Draft. A second DUI by incumbent point guard Ty Lawson almost makes it official. Now, reports say, the team is actively looking for a way to cut ties with their troubled star.
So, with Lawson having one foot out the door and the organization already having his replacement on the roster, the next natural question is where could he go? There is already a strong list of possible trade partners, one that includes the Sacramento Kings, Houston Rockets, Detroit Pistons and Los Angeles Lakers.
Sacramento did just add Rajon Rondo and already had Darren Collison in place, but they’ve made so many questionable decisions this off-season that they’re absolutely still in the mix. The biggest reason why is because of Lawson’s relationship with former Nuggets coach, George Karl. Upon Mudiay being drafted, Lawson even tweeted that he was “headed” to Sacramento. The Kings would probably have to give up either Rondo or Collison in any deal, but it might be worth it for the arguable upgrade.
Houston is a major candidate, as they publicly voiced their concerns over the point guard position. They kept Patrick Beverley in free agency, but they would probably love to land Lawson, who can provide offense, create and even play some defense. This could make Beverley more of a defensive specialist and a terrific backup. Of all the teams, getting Lawson probably helps them the most, as this type of trade could take a lackluster off-season and make it an arguable win for the Rockets.
The mega deal the Pistons handed Reggie Jackson probably makes a trade less likely, but it’s not impossible for Lawson and Jackson to play together. The team is undoubtedly looking for a way to part ways with point guard Brandon Jennings, who is coming off of an Achilles injury, and this deal could make that happen. If Lawson isn’t seen as the lead guard in Detroit with this deal, though, it can’t work.
Los Angeles Lakers
The Lake Shows makes a good amount of sense, as Kobe Bryant would probably prefer to stock up on talent in an effort to make one last playoff push before he retires. However, the Lakers do have two talented young point guards in rookie D’Angelo Russell and second-year man Jordan Clarkson. An argument could be made that sliding Lawson into the starting point guard slot could shift Russell to the two guard spot (possibly his more natural fit), which in turn would move Bryant to the three and make Clarkson a strong reserve off the bench. It could also stunt the development of L.A.’s young lead guards, but the team would suddenly have a fairly impressive starting five with a decent bench. The big question is, do the Lakers views Lawson as the missing link to a playoff appearance, and could they get him without giving up much in return?
These are just the main teams that have been publicly tied to Lawson to some degree. There are not too many other teams that will be searching for a new point guard, although the New York Knicks and Utah Jazz are two other teams that aren’t completely stable at the position. Ultimately, the Rockets stand out the most in the logic department, while the Kings have to be right up there if these trade rumors take a turn for the crazy.