The Indiana Pacers have been searching for a point guard upgrade all season long, and the Houston Rockets’ buying Ty Lawson out may have gotten that point guard for Larry Bird. Lawson simply didn’t fit in with what the Rockets were trying to do, and they decided to move on from him after being unable to deal him at the deadline.
According to a report from Shams Charania of RealGM.com, the Pacers are in “strong discussions” with Lawson about a potential contract.
Free-agent guard Ty Lawson is in strong discussions on a possible deal with the Indiana Pacers, league sources tell The Vertical.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 3, 2016
Lawson is exactly the kind of fit that the Pacers need at the point guard position. There is a chance that they would bring him off the bench rather than start him, but there is also the option that George Hill could move to the bench. Indiana has needed an extra scoring punch off the bench, and that is exactly what either Lawson or Hill can bring to the table.
Indiana has turned to a much faster tempo on the offensive side of the court this season. Lawson would help the Pacers continue to play that way and thrives getting teammates open on fast breaks.
There are likely other teams interested in signing Lawson, but the Pacers make perfect sense for him.
First of all, they run the system that he likes to play in and could surround him with shooters. Lawson has always been a willing passer and can be a lethal scorer when the pressure isn’t solely on him. Indiana will ask him to take a good number of shots, but the Pacers aren’t going to put him in the position where he has to score off of one-on-one basketball.
What will the Pacers be getting if they get the deal done with Lawson? There is no telling, but Indiana has done well with troubled players in the past. Lance Stephenson wasn’t expected to develop the way he did with the Pacers, but Bird and Frank Vogel built a culture that helped him thrive.
Lawson averaged just 5.8 points, 3.4 assists, and 1.7 rebounds per game with the Rockets. Indiana would need more than that from him, but a fresh start has helped many players in the past. He shot just 38.7 percent from the field overall and knocked in 33.0 percent from the three-point line.
At 28-years-old, Lawson still has plenty of basketball left to play in his NBA career. Indiana could choose to sign him to a one-year deal, or they might decide to go ahead and give him two years.
No matter what length the contract ends up being, the Pacers would be very wise to do what it takes to sign Lawson.
There is a chance that the Pacers and Lawson will get a deal done soon after he clears waivers. He is set to clear waivers on Thursday afternoon at 4 p.m.
While Bird and the Pacers may be viewed as the current front-runners, they should view this signing with a sense of urgency. Other teams around the NBA could use a piece like Lawson as well. Indiana needs to make sure that they try to wrap up contract talks quickly and bring him in.
Expect to see the Pacers and Lawson work something out. Charania mentioned two other teams being in discussions with Lawson, but the Pacers are by far the most serious suitor.
Adding Lawson would force the Pacers to cut one of their current players. Shayne Whittington appears to be the most likely casualty if they get this deal with Lawson done.
Do you think that Ty Lawson and the Indiana Pacers make a good fit? Is Lawson the piece that can help power the Pacers into the NBA postseason?
[Photo by David Zalubowski/AP]