It’s tempting to say that the Ty Lawson experiment in Houston has been an unqualified failure, but the truth is that the entire organization has been in general disarray for most of the season. Lawson’s ill fit on this roster might be little more than a symptom of that overall lack of vision and cohesion. Regardless, the Rockets have decided to part ways with the once-promising point guard, pending approval of a buyout agreement the two sides reached Tuesday. Here’s more from ESPN.com’s Calvin Watkins on Lawson’s sharp decline:
Lawson ranks last, 83rd, among point guards in real plus-minus at -5.95. After finishing third in the NBA in assists last season at 9.6, Lawson averaged just 3.4 this season, the lowest total since his rookie season in 2009-10. Lawson has set career lows in field goal percentage (38.7), points per game (5.8) and offensive rating per 100 possessions (98).
In the last three games, Lawson participated in just 5.5 minutes per game, and in the last 10 games, he shot 32.4 percent.
If there’s a silver lining, it’s that Lawson was able to avoid most of the extracurricular problems that plagued him toward the end of his time in Denver. Tuesday was also the deadline for players to be released so that they can potentially sign on with a playoff team. It’s unclear exactly who that might be at this point, and given his ghastly stat lines this season, his options could very well be limited.
Prior to the trade deadline, the Rockets were reportedly working on a deal to send Lawson to the Jazz in exchange for Trey Burke, but that ultimately fell through. And at the moment, there aren’t many playoff-bound teams out there that need a starting point guard, so it’s likely Lawson would have to accept bench role in most scenarios.
With the Austin Rivers’ broken hand, the Clippers could certainly use another point guard in the rotation. The Grizzlies have leaped at recent opportunities to take on under-performing headcases, but they also have a log-jam in the back-court with Mike Conley and Mario Chalmers. Out East, the Bulls and Pacers are both fringe playoff teams that could use some scoring in their second units, but that again is predicated on Lawson being willing to come off the bench.
With the current landscape, he might have to wait until the offseason to find out if anyone is willing to take one last chance on him being a consistently-productive NBA basketball player.