The Rockets, Pistons and Lakers are among the teams that have expressed interest in Ty Lawson lately, league sources told Chris Mannix of SI.com, who suggests that their interest persists in spite of Lawson’s arrest on suspicion of DUI this week. The possibility that the Nuggets trade Lawson this offseason remains strong, Mannix adds. The point guard’s talent continues to hold intrigue to teams around the league, as Mannix explains.
The news is nonetheless surprising, and conflicts with a report from earlier this week indicating that teams were showing little interest, at best, in Lawson even before the arrest, which was his second DUI-related arrest in six months. Denver was asking for a first-round pick and a young player in talks, as Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports wrote in that dispatch, while Yahoo Sports colleague Adrian Wojnarowski heard that teams had been waiting, prior to the arrest, for the Nuggets to lower their price for Lawson.
A league source tells Mannix that Kings coach George Karl would welcome Lawson in Sacramento, echoing just what a person familiar with Karl’s thinking told Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck in February. Still, Lawson’s off-court issues were a significant reason why the Kings weren’t willing to give the Nuggets the No. 6 pick when they spoke with Denver about Lawson before the draft.
Lawson’s troubles extend beyond his legal woes. He was late reporting back to the Nuggets after the All-Star break, and GM Tim Connelly publicly implored him to “grow up.” The Nuggets used their first-rounder, at No. 7, on point guard Emmanuel Mudiay, a move that prompted an incredulous reaction from Lawson when he was watching on television.
The Nuggets are set to pay Lawson more than $12.404MM this season and more than $13.213MM in 2016/17, though Mannix suggests he’s more of a bargain than those figures may indicate, given the escalating salary cap. Still, he’d be an awkward fit in Detroit, where the Pistons just made a lucrative commitment to Reggie Jackson and traded this week for backup point guard Steve Blake. Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press surmises that if Detroit had interest, that’s probably no longer the case (Twitter link). The Lakers drafted point guard D’Angelo Russell No. 2 overall last month, so there’s little logic behind a Lawson pursuit on their account, either. The Rockets just re-signed Patrick Beverley, though his deal is worth just $23MM over four years.