NBA Rumors: Indiana Pacers Signing Ty Lawson, Releasing Chase Budinger

NBA rumors have been swirling around Ty Lawson since the moment people realized that he was not going to be a fit with the Houston Rockets. A lot of teams in the league wanted Lawson, but no one gave a good enough deal to Rockets general manager Daryl Morey, so he ended up buying out Ty. According to Sporting News, the Indiana Pacers have emerged as a strong candidate to sign the talented guard, and they’re close to a buyout deal for Chase Budinger to clear the required roster spot.

Ty Lawson isn’t a bad player. He proved that he was with the Denver Nuggets. Lawson showed an uncanny ability to penetrate the lanes and find the open big man. The Houston Rockets traded for him because they were hoping he could bring that skill and help make Dwight Howard even more of an offensive weapon. Things didn’t work out because Ty could not figure out how to work alongside the ball-dominant James Harden, but NBA coaches and executives knew Lawson could still play.

Rockets guard James Harden James Harden [Photo by Elsa/Getty Images]Indiana Pacers president Larry Bird is hoping that Ty Lawson can still play at a high level. Bird also needs Lawson to do it right away. The Pacers are currently sitting on a 32-29 record right now. They’re sitting on the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference. The Washington Wizards and Chicago Bulls are both trying to sneak into the NBA Playoffs. If Lawson can contribute immediately, then he can help Indiana hold on to their spot.

It’s no secret that the Indiana Pacers have been looking for an upgrade at the point guard spot. They reportedly tried to send George Hill to the Atlanta Hawks in a trade for Jeff Teague. That didn’t work out. It’s not that the Pacers dislike Hill. It’s just that he’s more of a combination guard who is better suited for a role off the bench. Indiana needs more of a pure point guard for the offensive system ran by Pacers head coach Frank Vogel.

Pacers coach Vogel Joe Vogel [Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images]If the Indiana Pacers were to sign Ty Lawson, then there’s a very good chance that he will end up being the starting point guard before the NBA Playoffs start. George Hill moves to the backup point guard spot, but don’t be surprised if Lawson and Hill get on the court at the same time. Monta Ellis and Rodney Stuckey share the shooting guard spot, but Frank Vogel can always opt to go with a three-guard rotation in a small ball lineup.

To clear a roster spot for Ty Lawson, the Indiana Pacers are reportedly close to a buyout agreement for Chase Budinger. The team was very high on Budinger when they traded with the Minnesota Timberwolves to acquire him. The plan at the time was for Budinger to be the starting small forward. He lost out on a lot of playing time when Frank Vogel decided to switch Paul George from power forward back to small forward.

Pacers forward Budinger Chase Budinger [Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images]Since the deadline has already passed, Chase Budinger is no longer eligible to play in the NBA Playoffs. There’s really no point in him trying to latch on with a contender. The better move for Budinger is to find a team that has minutes, so he can try to get into the rotation for next season. The former Arizona Wildcats star has reportedly decided that the Phoenix Suns are the best option for him.

Ty Lawson and Chase Budinger are good players, but they both found themselves in bad fits.

[Featured Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images]