The title says it all in this situation. Just a couple months after acquiring Ty Lawson from the Nuggets at an extreme discount, the Rockets are already rumored by multiple source to be shopping the troubled point guard.
This just isn’t how it works, though. Unfortunately, when Houston took the risk on Lawson, they can’t expect to quickly turn around and trade a player with character issues that’s guaranteed $12.4 million this season (the final $13+ million is non-guaranteed) while he’s playing the worst basketball of his career (7.2 PPG, 4.4 APG).
I consider myself pretty crafty with the ESPN Trade Machine, but it’s nearly impossible to find Lawson a new home at the moment. Obviously, the price has to be extremely cheap. But when you look through the teams in the league, almost everyone has a superior PG, and the ones that don’t are rebuilding, and would have no interest in Ty.
The first place my mind wondered to was the Knicks, of course. But even they don’t even have the right pieces/contracts to make a play on Lawson.
There’s really only one team right now that has the flexibility to make any kind of move they want — the Celtics, who have absolutely no interest in another guard, especially Lawson.
But the C’s have shown willingness to take on players that they know will not be a part of their future. That just means if you’re the Rockets you have to give Boston something it wants (a rim protector).
Try this on for size.
*Note: Boston also agrees to send lottery protected first-round draft pick to Houston
There’s a lot of questions here, the biggest two being: Is taking on Lawson and giving a draft pick worth adding Capela for Boston? Is parting with Capela worth dumping Lawson and getting some help for the future for Houston? In both situations the answer is yes.
WHY IT WORKS FOR HOUSTON
- Losing Capela hurts, but there are three positives that make this trade worth while for the Rockets.
- Why are we here in the first place? Lawson gets dumped just 17 games into his Rockets career. That’s hard to do.
- First-round picks aren’t typically thrown around in the NBA (unless you’re the Knicks and Nets). Even through it’s lottery protected, it’s still gaining an asset.
- You get David Lee. He’s expensive, but like Lawson, you can be done with him at season’s end. He’s a good player that can help turn Houston back into a playoff team.
WHY IT WORKS FOR BOSTON
- Adding Lawson serves no purpose. On a healthy Boston roster, Lawson would be no better than the fifth guard, and would Brad Stevens and Danny Ainge even want him playing ahead of Terry Rozier and R.J. Hunter, thus stunting their development? Probably not.
- You also lose a draft pick, but this deal is all about one thing: an athletic big man. Like their backcourt, the C’s are deep up front, but they’re really just in search of a guy like Capela. Not only do they get a shot-blocking center to develop, but he still has three years on his rookie contract. This is exactly what Boston’s been looking for. It’s well worth the risk.
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