The Dallas Mavericks are in need of a starting point guard, and Ty Lawson wants a change of scenery. Might Mark Cuban be able to acquire the Denver Nuggets star this summer? After all, Lawson has already made it clear he wouldn’t mind playing in Big D and is sure he’s a better player than the imminently departing Rajon Rondo.
The 27 year-old responded to two very specific comments made on his Instagram feed over the weekend. Below is a screenshot of Lawson’s since-deleted remarks. Thanks to Larry Brown Sports for the find:
Lawson has two seasons remaining on the four-year, $48 million extension he signed with Denver in 2012. Though he enjoyed a career campaign by the numbers in 2014-2015, the Nuggets – in the midst of an utterly disastrous season – reportedly made him available at the trade deadline.
But that was before the team fired Brian Shaw two weeks later, a coach with whom Lawson frequently clashed. Will Denver want Lawson around as it begins another new era? It’s tough to say.
From talent and financial perspectives, most any team would be glad to have him as its starting floor general. Lawson is impossible to keep out of the paint, has shown consistent range on his jumper when healthy, and averaged a career-high 9.6 assists per game last season. He’ll always be a below-average defender due to size and strength deficiencies unless he fully commits on that end, however, and there are questions about his ability to effectively run half-court offense.
As a team’s fourth or fifth option, though? Lawson is a near ideal blend of quality and salary. The biggest problem in Denver is that he’s been stretched as its primary – and sometimes only – means of scoring and playmaking. Obviously, that wouldn’t be a problem in Dallas with Monta Ellis (if he re-signs), Chandler Parsons, and Dirk Nowitzki around.
The questions a franchise must answer about Lawson have almost as much to do with off-court fit as they do an on-court one. The North Carolina product was arrested for DUI in January and had domestic violence charges dropped two years ago. He’s been famously averse to vocal leadership throughout his career, not exactly becoming a lead-by-example type, either – Lawson was absent during the Nuggets’ first practice after the All-Star break because he missed a flight from Las Vegas.
Will a new coach feel comfortable putting the ball in the speedy point guard’s hands? Would the Mavericks or another team be willing to spend a first-round pick to acquire him?
There’s no way to tell for sure. If Lawson had his way, though, it’s pretty obvious where he’d like to continue his suddenly wayward career.
[h/t Larry Brown Sports]