The Ty Lawson era with the Houston Rockets is over— and done even before it started. The Texas franchise officially cut ties with the veteran point guard, who never found an apt role or playing time with in Houston appearing to be a bad fit with the roster, and especially with Rockets star guard James Harden.
Jonathan Feigen confirmed the news on Twitter:
Lawson will be on the waiver wire until Thursday but no team is expected to pick him up off waivers. He’ll become a free agent after the deadline and will be allowed to sign with any team he wants.
Lawson signed a four-year $48 million contract with the Nuggets in 2013 but the fourth year of the deal ($13.21M) is now non-guaranteed after a previous agreement with the Rockets. Lawson will become an unrestricted free agent after the 2015-2016 season if his next team does not pick up the option for the following season.
Lawson was the starting point guard with his previous team, the Denver Nuggets and was actually considered one of the best players in his position. However, he struggled with controversies in Denver including two driving under the influence (DUI) arrests in 2015 and the Nuggets eventually traded him for scraps to Houston.
The Rockets were hoping to revive Lawson’s career but he never found consistent playing time averaging just 22.2 minutes in 53 games played this season. He averaged 5.8 points—lowest in his NBA career—and shot just 38.7% from the field, also the lowest in eight years in the NBA.
On Thursday, Lawson gets a mulligan in his NBA career hoping for a fresh start with the team he signs with. Here are the top three teams that needs Lawson for a playoff push this season:
1. New York Knicks – A team with no reliable starting point guard and starting to fade away in the playoff race. At 25-26, the Knicks are just six games back off the eighth seed in the East though, so the Carmelo Anthony-led team still has a shot at a postseason. (Of course, Lawson also posted an image on Twitter already so they are the front-runners).
2. Chicago Bulls – When you have Derrick Rose as the starting point guard, it’s a must that you invest on back-ups that can play in the eventuality that Rose gets injured. The Bulls are at 30-28 and in the East’s playoff picture but they could use another back-up point guard along with veteran Aaron Brooks.
3. Indiana Pacers – George Hill has no legit back-up and Lawson can immediately assume that role. The Pacers have Joe Young, but he’s a rookie in the NBA; and Rodney Stuckey, but he plays more of the two-guard in the Pacers’ small ball ways these days. The Pacers are at 31-29, tied for 8th/9th places in East.
4. Denver Nuggets (Bonus team!) – Just kidding.
Will Lawson ever return to his prime a la his Nuggets heydays? Which team should Lawson sign when he hits free agency?
Photo Courtesy: Twitter/TyLawson3