The Denver Nuggets have been trying to unload Ty Lawson for the last several months with no luck.
The Sacramento Kings were thought to be the perfect landing spot for Lawson since he had tremendous success when Kings head coach George Karl was in Denver. And the Kings still might be, but during a chat with fans, ESPN NBA Insider Chad Ford said a deal won’t be just for the No. 6 pick in the upcoming draft.
Here is the entire question and answer by Ford.
“With your Mock 7.0 showing (Emmanual) Mudiay going to Sacramento, could the Nuggets consider trading Lawson to the Kings for that pick to get Mudiay? Does the Malone hire show what the Nuggets draft plan will be?”
Chad Ford (1:18 p.m.)
“Nuggets have been trying to make that deal regardless, but so far they can’t get Kings (or anyone else for that matter) to bite on Lawson.”
Lawson averaged 15.2 points and 9.6 assists in 75 games last year. He played superb basketball during the first half of last season, averaging 16.1 points to go along with 10.2 assists and 3.2 rebounds. He shot 44.7 percent from the field and 36.0 percent from beyond the arc.
Lawson struggled after the All-Star break and averaged just 11.8 points and 8.5 assists. He also shot 40.8 percent from the field and 29.1 percent from the three-point line in 24 second-half games.
Lawson is an extremely talented player, and according to CBS Sports, he produced the seventh most points in the NBA last year.
The problem is Lawson has had a couple of missteps over the last couple of years. He was arrested for suspicion of DUI (case is still pending) in the wee hours of January 23 after attending a Nuggets charity function. Lawson also was AWOL from Nuggets practice the day after the longest All-Star break in league history. In addition, he had a domestic incident in the summer of 2013 — the case that was eventually dropped — and missed a team breakfast meeting late last season.
Sacramento did the right thing in dismissing the Nuggets request for their No. 6 pick in the 2015 draft for Lawson. But as Bleacher Report reported, Sacramento has just cause to consider forking over its first round draft.
The Kings don’t have too much in assets to offer. Sacramento could possibly package Darren Collison with Nik Staukus or Ben McLemore for Lawson. Though the Kings may have to consider dealing their first rounder if the Nuggets are willing to include Kenneth Faried.
It is believed that Lawson will be dealt prior to June 25, which is the date of the 2015 draft.
If the Sacramento deal doesn’t happen there are other teams that could use Lawson’s skill set. These other teams include the New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics, Dallas Mavericks, and Houston Rockets.
Knicks: New York are talent starved and own the No. 4 pick in the draft. The Knicks are believed to be willing to trade out of that spot. The question becomes would the Knicks be willing to trade that pick for Lawson and the No. 7 selection (if Denver is willing to deal their first rounder)? Or would the Knicks need Faried, Wilson Chandler, or Danilo Gallinari to be included to make the deal work?
Celtics: Boston want to improve their overall talent and Lawson would do that. But the C’s already have Marcus Smart and Isaiah Thomas at point guard. Boston also has two first-round selections in this year’s draft and 12 picks over the next two years. If Denver is willing to take Thomas as part the deal, then Boston should most definitely consider becoming partners in a move.
Lakers: Los Angeles want to contend next year, and Lawson would surely help them do that. The problem is the Lakers don’t have any assets with the exception of the No. 2 and No. 27 picks in the upcoming draft along with Jordan Clarkson.
Mavericks: Dallas would like Lawson to run their team, but they don’t have many resources. The Mavericks can’t trade their first-round selection (No. 21 overall) until after they make the selection.
Rockets: Houston needs another ball-handler, and starting point guard Patrick Beverley, who is an outstanding defender, is a restricted free agent. The Rockets own New Orleans No. 18 pick.
[Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images]