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Rockets Explore Ty Lawson Trades, But Market Slow

DECEMBER 22ND, 11:16am: Teams around the NBA have little interest in trading for Lawson, league sources tell Ken Berger of Some speculate that Houston will ultimately waive Lawson, Berger hears, though other sources who spoke with the CBS scribe cast doubt on that notion.

12:29pm: The Rockets want to keep Lawson, but the point guard’s camp is seeking a way for him to receive more playing time on another team, a source tells Watkins (Twitter link).

DECEMBER 18TH, 12:10pm: The Rockets and representatives for Ty Lawson are working in tandem to look for possible deals that would send the point guard out of Houston, league sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports. The NBA is poised to give Lawson a two-game suspension that stems from a recent legal resolution related to a 2014 DUI charge, Wojnarowski also reports. Lawson was also arrested on DUI charges this past July, an it’s possible that the league will ultimately hand down a separate suspension related to that, tweets Calvin Watkins of

The news of Houston’s engagement in trade talk involving Lawson represents an apparent change from earlier this month, when the Rockets were holding off on the idea even as teams around the league were of the belief that they’d be able to trade for him on the cheap, according to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders. Lawson said he was on board with interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff‘s decision to remove him from the starting lineup last month. Bickerstaff has said time and again that it was a priority for the team to help him return to his usual high level of play, and that he believed Lawson would ultimately achieve that, but his playing time has continued to dwindle, notes Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle (on Twitter). Lawson has registered fewer than 20 minutes in each of his past three games and, as Feigen points out, he’s totaled only 11 points in the team’s seven games thus far in December (Twitter link). He’s averaging just 5.9 points and 4.2 assists in 25.2 minutes per game this season after posting 15.2 points and 9.6 assists in 35.5 minutes per contest last season with the Nuggets.

The client of Happy Walters gave up the guarantee on his salary of more than $13.213MM for next season to facilitate the trade that sent him from Houston to Denver in July. He’s making more than $12.404MM this season in what’s now the final guaranteed year of his contract, though the suspension will cost him $225,536 out of that figure.

The Rockets, with a disappointing 13-14 record, are in a difficult position as they consider trades, since they’re less than $2MM shy of a $88.74MM hard cap they imposed upon themselves when they signed second-round pick Montrezl Harrell. Houston has three small trade exceptions, one of which expires Saturday, though it would be difficult for the team to use them, since the Rockets can’t add much salary. Today is the last day teams can trade for players and still be eligible to flip them in a trade that aggregates their salary with other players before the February 18th trade deadline, and the Rockets have paid close attention to the aggregation deadline in recent years.

Which teams do you think of as strong fits for Lawson? Leave a comment to share your thoughts:

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15 thoughts on “Rockets Explore Ty Lawson Trades, But Market Slow

  1. TJECK109

    Spell check… Will send not will sent

    • Chuck Myron

      Fixed, thank you!

  2. Arthur Hill

    Lawson’s trade value has probably sunk so low that it’s hard to imagine the Rockets getting much in return. He can’t really fall back on the “bad fit” argument either. Lawson looked terrible last night against the Lakers, even though most of his playing time came when James Harden was resting.

    • Chris Crouse

      It would probably have to a trade for a player who’s also a misfit in his current situation. They would probable never do this because they are in the same conference, but wouldn’t a Lawson for Lance Stephenson swap make sense.

  3. Z.....

    Milwaukee, Utah, and Philly

  4. knicks

    • Chris Crouse

      I don’t think NY is a bad option, he’s played with Melo before and NY could give him the minutes he desires.
      They may have to get a third team involved to make a trade work though.

  5. Lawson and a future second for Noel who says no?

    • Chris Crouse

      Sam Hinkie hangs up on Morey

    • ProCritic

      Everyone even Noel? Because Rockets Frontcourt is loaded w/ Clint Capela, Howard, Monztrel Harrell, T-Jones & Montejunas.

  6. Chris Crouse

    Lawson is buy low stock. Some team is going to benefit from signing/trading for him.

  7. Maksim

    Send ty to Utah

  8. Lawson is an enigma that drags the teams chemistry down. He can ball, but he must have personality issues. The Rockets should just be looking for someone who will pay his salary.

  9. gucci7383

    nets need to make an offer. hes better then jack and the nets have no pick this yr. might as well try and win as many games possible. if he works out they have his bird rights at seasons end

  10. Why not the knicks ?

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