Ty Lawson of the Denver Nuggets has everything you would want in a fantasy basketball point guard: he shoots well from the field and from the free-throw line, gets assists and steals, hits from long range and scores a few points, too.
The lightning-quick guard has answered questions about his durability in recent years, missing a total of just seven games in his last two NBA seasons.
His season stat line doesn't have an atypical point guard stat (like a high number of blocks or rebound), but he does do what fantasy point guards are supposed to do well.
Under the tutelage of George Karl, Lawson’s assist average (6.6) has climbed in each of his three seasons in the league along with his minutes played per game (34.8).
He was already a top 10 assists-per-game guy in 2012. In 2013, he will again be surrounded by shooters and finishers on the floor.
With the addition of swingman Andre Iguodala as a potential open-court finisher and progression of big man JaVale McGee, Lawson’s assist totals should increase yet again.
Relying on his blazing open-court speed and driving ability, Lawson shoots a very efficient 49.9 percent from the floor for his career; although that number has declined as his shot attempts (and three-point attempts) have risen.
Lawson finished last season shooting 48.8 percent from the floor on 12.6 attempts per game. He was also knocking down threes at a 36.5 percent clip on 3.5 attempts per contest.
But after the All-Star break last season, Lawson shot 50.1 percent from the floor (and a deadly 40.7 percent from beyond the arc) in 31 games. His efficiency carried over to the charity stripe, where he knocked down 84.5 percent of his free-throw attempts (on 3.5 tries) after the break.
His rebounding numbers were also higher in March and April.
Maybe he’s getting ready to insert his name into the All-Star equation for 2013.
Lawson should be one of the most coveted fantasy point guards in 2013 as he prepares to take the Nuggets deeper into the playoffs. The ability to play him at the 2-guard spot also makes him an attractive fantasy asset.
Lawson doesn’t hurt you in any categories as a fantasy point guard. He’s the type of player that owners can build many different types of teams around. He’ll score for you while keep your percentages high and contribute favorably to steals and that coveted assists column.
He trails only Steve Nash in terms of his ability to help your fantasy team's field goal percentage from the point guard position. Nash is incredibly efficient (shooting over 50 percent for the seventh time in the last eight seasons), but put up almost four fewer shots per game than Lawson in 2012.
I also expect Nash's attempts to decline when the Los Angeles Lakers put all of their pieces together. Lawson is expected to take more personal stock in the Nuggets' wins this season, which could result in another scoring uptick for the point guard.
There are other guys who will get to the line more frequently and/or convert a higher percentage of attempts (like the aforementioned Nash), but Lawson should help keep fantasy teams afloat from the line.
Meanwhile, for a 5’11” guy, he gets his fair share of boards and will even slap away a shot for you every now and then.
Lawson would be a good No. 1 fantasy point guard, worth a look in the second or third round of most drafts. He would be even more serviceable as a No. 2 PG if you grab another floor general like Russell Westbrook or Chris Paul in the first round.
From a fantasy prospective, you have to like a guy with aspirations of being a legitimate top-five NBA point guard and playing for a contract extension (unless a deal is done before the season begins, of course).
My projections for Lawson's 2012-13 season are as follows: 48.1 percent shooting from the field, 83.0 percent from the line, 1.5 three-pointers made per game, 3.6 REB, 7.8 AST, 1.4 STL, .1 BLK, 2.5 TO and 21 PPG.