When the Houston Rockets traded for Ty Lawson last July, they thought they were getting a big upgrade at point guard. After all, Lawson averaged 15.2 PPG and 9.6 APG as a member of the Denver Nuggets last year. Unfortunately for the Rockets, Lawson has only been a shell of his former self, averaging 5.9 PPG and 4.2 APG while shooting just 32.9 percent from the field.
So it should be little surprise that Houston is now looking to trade Lawson, who’s struggled to fit in with his new squad. And it doesn’t help that the Rockets are off to a poor 13-14 start after making the Western Conference Finals last year. But will Houston ultimately pull the trigger just one third through the regular season? Or will they wait to see if Lawson eventually turns things around? Let’s discuss the matter below by covering both why the Rockets should and shouldn’t trade the 27-year-old.
Lawson has not played well alongside James Harden
Perhaps the toughest thing for Lawson has been fitting in alongside shooting guard James Harden, who dominates the ball. In Denver, Lawson was used to running the show, as evidenced by his 9.6 APG last season. But in Houston, he merely brings the ball up the court while most of the offense runs through Harden. Obviously Harden isn’t going anywhere; so if they can get something back for Lawson they are likely to jump at a deal.
This situation goes both ways too because the rumor is that Lawson isn’t happy with his role in Houston right now. The matter is only made worse by the fact that he’s in a contract year and if things don’t turn around soon, Lawson will have much less value in the free-agent market. That said, the 5’11” point guard is unlikely to fight the opportunity to showcase his talents on a different team.
It’s unclear if Houston would get much back for Lawson
The Rockets are only beginning to shop their unhappy point guard, but it’s doubtful that they’ll find many interested teams. Lawson has played really badly this season, and his value only further diminishes when you consider his two DUI’s — the last one earning him a two-game suspension.
Another aspect to consider here is that Lawson’s $13 million contract is up following this season, which would give Houston tremendous wiggle room in the offseason. They could use the cap space to find the perfect fit for their team while it’s still a championship contender. So unless the front office finds a good player in exchange for Lawson, they’re unlikely to give him and his expiring contract up.
The Rockets will be making a Trade of Some Kind
As ESPN reports, Houston is very excited about being able to trade for restricted free agents. Over 110 players who signed contracts last summer will be eligible for trades come Jan. 15. And general manager Daryl Morey, who thought he already had a championship-caliber roster, will be one of the most-eager execs looking to deal.
Lawson will certainly be one player whom the Rockets are willing to part with for the right assets. However, they’ve also reportedly talked about dealing Corey Brewer and Terrence Jones for disgruntled Phoenix Suns forward Markieff Morris. It’s unclear exactly who Houston will end up landing when Jan. 15 comes around. But you can guarantee that they’ll tweak their roster in some way so they can compete for the title again.