Nuggets team president Josh Kroenke told Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports that the team had been privately trying to help Ty Lawson with his drinking issues for the past couple of years and that there had been problems for a long time. Kroenke indicated that he had repeated conversations with Lawson about his struggles, and noted that Lawson often said he would attempt to fix his issues but he could never fully shake them, Spears adds. Lawson was recently traded to the Rockets.
“He always had an affinity for burning the candle at both ends,” Kroenke said. “We want to give our players freedom to be young guys as well. We’re not going to be drill sergeants. But we want our guys to be able to handle their personal lives on their own. Ty … there were times when he was better than others. But the problems have been there for several years, going back to when we were having a lot of on-court success. I don’t want to go back too far. There were just a lot of times where you were at practice and you just know. You could smell it. You know there is probably deeper issues than he would probably let on.”
Here’s more out of the Northwest Division:
- GM Tim Connelly said it was a difficult choice for the Nuggets to trade Lawson, Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post writes. “It was a tough day,” said Connelly. “Ty was a huge part of our success here. He’s certainly one of the really talented lead guards. Sometimes a change of scenery is best for both parties. Where we were, it made sense to make the move.“
- Raul Neto‘s three-year pact with the Jazz will see him earn $900K for the 2015/16 season, $937,800 the following season, and $1,014,746 during the 2017/18 campaign, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweets. Joe Ingles‘ two-year deal with Utah will pay him $2.150MM for each season, Pincus adds.
- Al-Farouq Aminu‘s contract with the Blazers will pay him $8,042,995 this season, $7,680,956 in 2016/17, $7,319,035 the following year, and $6,957,105 in 2018/19, Pincus relays (on Twitter). Ed Davis‘ three-year deal will pay him $6,980,802, $6,666,667, and $6,352,531 respectively, notes Pincus.
- Jazz point guard Dante Exum knows that he needs to improve his outside shooting if he hopes to emerge as a star in the NBA, Moke Hamilton of Basketball Insiders writes. “I think just the consistency of it, being straight, being on target, even if I’m not making them—as long as it’s still a good looking shot and it feels good,” Exum said regarding the progress that he has made over the summer. “I think that’s the most important thing. … Once it gets into the game and I start playing one-on-one and five-on-five that I get that carryover.”