As Thursday’s NBA trade deadline looms, things have been relatively quiet, although various rumors abound. One such rumor involves the Houston Rockets and the Utah Jazz, who have reportedly discussed swapping out point guards Ty Lawson and Trey Burke.
The trade definitely makes sense for the Rockets, who have been one of the most disappointing teams in the NBA this season, especially given their Western Conference Finals run last year. Lawson doesn’t deserve all the blame for Houston’s woes, but he’s inarguably been a poor fit on this roster, and Burke offers a young point guard they can potentially develop for the future.
Here’s more from Marc Stein of ESPN.com on why the trade holds potential for the Jazz, who are looking to make a playoff push.
Although trading for Lawson would be seen as a gamble for Utah, given his struggles throughout his first season in Houston, the gamble would be mitigated by Lawson making the $13.2 million he’s owed next season fully unguaranteed as a condition to secure his trade to the Rockets last summer.
As such, Utah could essentially test Lawson out for the rest of the season and let him go without any financial impact going forward if it doesn’t work out.
If that last scenario is, in fact, how things play out, the Jazz can hedge their bets on the return of Dante Exum, who was lost the for the season with a torn ACL that he suffered last summer playing in an exhibition for the Australian National Team.