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Northwest Notes: Lawson, Matthews, Crabbe

Ty Lawson‘s days with the Nuggets may be numbered, according to Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post. Lawson created a stir on Instagram last week when he responded to a question from a Mavericks fan about playing in Dallas with the phrase, “I wish.” The incident might not mean much on its own, but Dempsey points out that there were rumors this season that Lawson wanted out of Denver. He writes that Lawson was never comfortable in former coach Brian Shaw’s halfcourt offense, and that the constant losing wore him down. Dempsey charges that Lawson undermined Shaw by not playing as hard as he could and by having a series of off-court disciplinary problems.

There’s more news from the Northwest Division:

  • Free agent Wesley Matthews isn’t sure if he’ll be back in Portland next season, reports Kerrry Eggers of The Portland Tribune. Matthews, 28, is still rehabbing from surgery he had in March for a torn Achilles tendon. He will be among the top shooting guards on the market this summer. “So much stuff can happen between now and when free agency starts,” he said in response to a question about returning to the Blazers. “Ideally, perfect situation, yeah, who doesn’t want to go for the ideal, perfect situation? But right now, my focus is on getting [the foot] right.” Center Robin Lopez said he is “very open” to re-signing with Portland.
  • Allen Crabbe filled in effectively when the Blazers needed him, but still faces an uncertain future in the NBA, according to Jabari Young of  Crabbe appeared in 51 games this season and helped the team go 4-0 as a starter when Nicolas Batum was sidelined with an injury. But Crabbe’s contract for next year isn’t guaranteed, which means he will have to fight to earn a roster spot. “The offseason is really going to have to be a lot of focus on the things I need to improve on,” Crabbe said.
  • Billy Donovan’s biggest challenge as Thunder coach will be to get his stars to buy into his system, writes Royce Young of ESPN. At Florida, Donovan ran an NBA-style offense that emphasized trust over individuality, but NBA stars don’t necessarily like that approach to the game. Scott Brooks tried to invoke a similar philosophy last season, Young notes, but it was overwhelmed by injuries.

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