Rockets trade rumors now officially include Ty Lawson. As the NBA trade deadline approaches, new Houston Rockets trade rumors link the team to the Milwaukee Bucks. In a report from the Racine Journal-Times, rumors of a point guard swap have been confirmed. The Bucks are looking hard at Lawson, who the Rockets would be open to trading. In exchange for Lawson, the Bucks would send point guard Michael Carter-Williams to the Rockets.
So why would the Houston Rockets and Milwaukee Bucks agree to simply trade point guards? This is where the theory of a “change of scenery” in the NBA comes into play. The thought is that both players could flourish with new teams, possibly revitalizing their careers from frustrating results in the 2015-16 NBA season. The Rockets certainly need to do something to get out of a current rut, and the Bucks haven’t been flourishing in the Eastern Conference with Carter-Williams as the starting point guard.
These Houston Rockets trade rumors could make sense for the team, as getting Ty Lawson’s contract off the books could help with salary cap issues. Lawson makes about $12.4 million this season and then about $13.2 million in the 2016-17 NBA season. Michael Carter-Williams makes about $2.4 million this season and then about $3.2 million next season. During the 2017 NBA offseason, he will be a restricted free agent giving his team some control over that next contract.
If the teams agreed to a trade of Lawson for Carter-Williams, they would need to match salaries to make it work. This means that the Bucks would have to add players worth about $10 million for the 2015-16 NBA season. An easy addition would be OJ Mayo and his $8 million contract if the Bucks don’t plan on re-signing him during the NBA offseason. The Bucks could also include players like Greivis Vasquez ($6 million), Larry Sanders ($5 million), or Jerryd Bayless ($3 million) to complete the deal.
These Houston Rockets trade rumors have come up due to how badly the team has struggled this year. At the All-Star break, the Rockets have just the ninth best record in the Western Conference at 27-28. If the NBA Playoff started today, the Rockets and Milwaukee Bucks (22-32) would be watching the games from home. That’s not where the teams were expected to finish when NBA analysts predicted the 2015-16 NBA season.
Over his seven-year NBA career, Ty Lawson has averaged 13.4 points, 6.3 assists, and 1.2 steals per game. Most of that time was spent with the Denver Nuggets before the Rockets acquired him in the 2015 NBA offseason. Michael Carter-Williams is in his third NBA season after getting selected by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2013 NBA Draft. He has averaged 14.6 points, 6.2 assists, 5.6 rebounds, and 1.7 steals per game. Carter-Williams still has trouble taking care of the basketball, though, with a career average of 3.5 turnovers per game.
On the surface, this could possibly be a trade that helps out both teams. The Houston Rockets would get younger with Michael Carter-Williams and possibly get far enough under the salary cap to pursue two players in the upcoming free agency period. For the Milwaukee Bucks, this trade could give the team a player on offense capable of scoring 20 points every night. He would be more expensive, but Lawson could look good with a core of Greg Monroe, Jabari Parker, Khris Middleton, and Giannia Antetokounmpo next year.
The Bucks are certainly motivated to deal Carter-Williams, as the chemistry of the team hasn’t been the same since making him the starting point guard. If the Houston Rockets trade rumors don’t lead to something, the Bucks could still deal him to another team before the NBA trade deadline on February 18. Could the two teams come to terms ona multi-player deal before time runs out? Or might the Rockets deal Ty Lawson to a different franchise?
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