After doing what many once-productive NBA players do as their careers slow down by playing most of the 2017-18 season in the Chinese Basketball Association, Ty Lawson appears to be hoping for a more regular role back home in the U.S., as reports suggest he recently worked out for the New Orleans Pelicans.
Citing a tweet from Hoops Hype’s Alex Kennedy, the Sporting News wrote that Lawson was one of two players who worked out with the Pelicans earlier this week in hopes of earning a roster spot with the team. Tyrone Wallace, who had most recently played shooting guard and small forward for the Los Angeles Clippers, was the other player mentioned by Kennedy in his tweet. He averaged 9.7 points in 30 games for the Clippers as a rookie in the 2017-18 NBA season.
Despite once being a regular starter at point guard, Ty Lawson had his share of off-court issues in nine seasons playing in the NBA, according to Sporting News. Originally a first-round pick out of the University of North Carolina, Lawson enjoyed his greatest successes in the league playing for the Denver Nuggets, where he held a starting job for much of 2010 to 2015. According to his Basketball Reference player page, the 30-year-old Lawson had his best season in 2013-14, where he averaged 17.6 points and 8.8 assists for the Nuggets.
After leaving Denver in the 2015 offseason, Lawson moved to a reserve role, splitting time with the Houston Rockets and Indiana Pacers in the 2015-16 season and playing for the Sacramento Kings in 2016-17. Lawson then moved to China and the CBA in 2017 but returned to the NBA in time for last season’s playoffs, averaging 5.8 points in five postseason games as he backed up John Wall on the Washington Wizards.
As the New Orleans Pelicans lost Rajon Rondo to the Los Angeles Lakers in free agency, the team currently has former Orlando Magic and Phoenix Suns guard Elfrid Payton as the most likely candidate to start at the point in the 2018-19 season, with Frank Jackson as a possible second-stringer and erstwhile starting shooting guard Jrue Holiday also expected to contribute from his natural position. Ty Lawson’s potential addition to the lineup could at least give the Pelicans more depth at point guard, Clutch Points speculated.
Meanwhile, Tyrone Wallace will potentially be joining a wing rotation that is currently led by Holiday and starting small forward E’Twaun Moore, assuming he makes the team. The Pelicans’ expected starting lineup also includes center Anthony Davis and recent free agent signee Julius Randle, who had most recently started at power forward and center for the Los Angeles Lakers.