Southwest Notes: Lawson, Williams, Pondexter

Ty Lawson says he’s ready for basketball again after a 30-day alcohol rehabilitation stint that followed two arrests in seven months and expressed excitement about joining coach Kevin McHale, James Harden, Dwight Howard and former Nuggets teammate Corey Brewer on the Rockets, as he conveyed in an interview with Mark Berman of Fox 26 Houston. Lawson agreed to give up the guarantee on his 2016/17 to facilitate the trade that sent him from Denver to Houston this summer.

“I’m about winning,” Lawson said to Berman. “I love being on a winning team. At every level I’ve played at, high school, middle school, college I won championships. This is a chance to play for one of those and get an NBA ring. I’m ready for it.”

See more from the Southwest Division:

  • Deron Williams is excited to play with Dirk Nowitzki and former Jazz teammate Wesley Matthews and for the chance at a new beginning with the Mavericks, as he tells Earl K. Sneed of “You know, there’s definitely a stability about this organization that’s definitely intriguing,” Williams said. You know, they have guys that have been here forever, so it’s just about plugging in the new pieces — myself included — and just trying to get to work. But, you know, I’m just excited about this opportunity, and I’m ready to get the season going.”
  • It’s unclear if Quincy Pondexter will be healthy in time for the start of Pelicans training camp, writes John Reid of The Times Picayune, though while Pondexter admitted on SiriusXM NBA Radio that rehab from left knee surgery in May has been slow-going, he’s hopeful that he won’t miss much time, if any, Reid notes (audio link). Pondexter is due a guaranteed salary of more than $3.382MM this season, but the team added depth at small forward this summer with the free agent signing of Alonzo Gee.
  • Kawhi Leonard, fresh off his new deal with the Spurs, said he’ll try to win an MVP award, as David Zink of The Press-Enterprise wrote last month, but going for that honor would require significant change to his game and upset the offensive balance with which he and the Spurs have found so much success, argues Ian Levy of The Sporting News.

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