Ty Lawson feels “overlooked” in free agency and tells Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated the team that signs him is going to get a significant bargain. Lawson says he never really felt comfortable with the Rockets or Pacers last season after being traded away from Denver during the summer. Lawson quickly lost his starting spot in Houston and averaged 5.8 points and 3.4 assists over 53 games. The Pacers picked him up after the Rockets waived him, and he saw just 18.1 minutes per night in 13 games with Indiana. Lawson, whose reputation has suffered after four DUI arrests and a stint in rehab, says he managed to stay clean last season and is ready to prove that he is still an elite player. “It would be big to be back to my old self again,” he said. “Also, it’s not for just me, it’s for my parents. They have had a hard time seeing what I’ve been going through. I know they hear the little comments at NBA games. To make them proud again would mean the world to me.”
There’s more from the Central Division:
- Pacers president of basketball operations Larry Bird has done almost a complete roster rebuild in three seasons, writes Gregg Doyel of The Indianapolis Star. Paul George is the only player left from the team that reached the Eastern Conference finals in back-to-back seasons. Bird’s latest move came when he signed ex-Bull Aaron Brooks to serve as a backup to recently acquired point guard Jeff Teague. In addition to the roster turnover, Bird made a coaching chance this summer, firing Frank Vogel and replacing him with Nate McMillan.
- Doug McDermott thinks Dwyane Wade is just what the Bulls needed to become a contender in the East again, relays Sam Smith of Bulls.com. McDermott, who is coming off a breakthrough second season in the NBA, is part of the select squad that is practicing this week with the U.S. Olympic team. He bristles at the suggestion that Chicago doesn’t have enough outside shooting with Wade expected to start next to Rajon Rondo and Jimmy Butler. “People have been questioning bringing in D. Wade and Rondo, saying they don’t fit [coach Fred Hoiberg‘s] style,” McDermott said. “But we have four or five guys coming off the bench who really do fit Fred’s style and we can gel with those other guys, the superstars. You know Fred will make it work; he’s a brilliant offensive mind and we’re figuring it out defensively as we go along.”