Ty Lawson hasn’t impressed in 26 games with the Rockets and if the point guard’s camp has its way, the North Carolina product will be playing for another team before the end of the season. Although Lawson’s trade value has arguably never been lower, he is still a starting-caliber point guard and the Rockets should be able to garner a respectable return if they trade him. So tonight’s shootaround is about finding a new home for the troubled 28-year-old and here’s what I would do if I was sitting in GM Daryl Morey’s chair:
Rumors surfaced earlier in the week that Dwight Howard is unhappy with the current state of the franchise and although the center has since refuted those reports, the team expects him to turn down his player option, which would have paid him slightly more than $23.282MM next season. Signing a 30-year-old center with injury history to a long-term, possibly maximum salaried deal may not be the best option for the franchise, yet neither is losing him to another team in free agency.
The Rockets should attempt to trade both Howard and Lawson and build a new team around James Harden. The Nets were on Howard’s list of suitors when he was pushing for a trade from the Magic back in 2011 and while it’s unclear if Brooklyn remains a preferable destination, GM Billy King has the pieces to make a logical trade.
If Houston sends Howard, Lawson and Corey Brewer, who won’t be eligible to be traded until January 15th, to Brooklyn for Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez, who also isn’t eligible to be traded until January 15th, both teams would be better off, even if the Rockets have to include another reserve in the deal to make the salaries align. The Nets would get a new face of the franchise in Howard and a talented point guard in Lawson, who could play beside Jarrett Jack to give the Nets a somewhat exciting backcourt, something they lacked for quite some time. The Rockets would add two proven scoring options to help ease Harden’s burden on the offensive end and they would get younger at the center position. Adding Lopez, whose Player Efficiency Rating is 20.49 this season, would give the team an All-Star whose career is on the same trajectory as Harden’s and they would form a more lethal duo than the Harden-Howard pairing.
The parameters around this trade are purely speculative, as there have been no reports linking the Nets and Rockets in trade discussions.
Be the Rockets’ GM tonight. Let us know what you would do with Lawson and Howard if you were running Houston and tell us what you think about this hypothetical trade. Take to the comments section below to share your thoughts and opinions on the matter. We look forward to what you have to say.