The Ty Lawson/James Harden experiment hasn’t even lasted a full season, but the Rockets have already seen enough to know that it isn’t going to work out. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, Lawson and the Rockets are discussing a buyout.
The Houston Rockets and guard Ty Lawson are exploring a contract buyout, league sources told The Vertical.
After an initial unwillingness to part with Lawson post-NBA trade deadline, the Rockets could use the savings on a possible buyout to clear salary-cap space to acquire other players becoming available through buyouts, league sources said.
Houston discussed trade-deadline deals on Lawson, but was unable to find a suitable trade. Lawson is still owed $3.2 million on his 2015-16 contract, having already been paid $9.2 million.
This has been Lawson’s worst season as a pro, with averages of six points and 3.5 assists. After wearing out his welcome in Denver, the Rockets took a flier on Lawson, acquiring him in exchange for a protected first-round pick and other flotsam. The hope was that a change of scenery would resuscitate the lightning-fast guard, as would the opportunity to compete for a title. That simply hasn’t happened. Whether it’s because of Harden’s ball-dominant nature or other factors, Lawson’s been generally ineffective as a Rocket.
If the two sides agree to a buyout before next Tuesday, then Lawson could find his way onto a playoff roster and be eligible for the postseason. The only question is, will he really help a team? It’s a low-risk maneuver, but the reward may not be as high as it once was.
Lawson was supposed to be a change of pace guard that could help take some of the ball-handling duties and overall pressure off Harden. He needs the ball in his hands to succeed, but no team taking a chance on him is just going to give him the keys to the offense – especially a playoff team with a pre-established hierarchy.