Ty Lawson: New Deal Proof Nuggets Guard Is One of NBA's Biggest Rising Stars

Tim KeeneyContributor IOctober 30, 2012

DENVER, CO - MAY 10:  Ty Lawson #3 of the Denver Nuggets celebrates a three-point basket against the Los Angeles Lakers in Game Six of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs at Pepsi Center on May 10, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

Ty Lawson is an elite point guard in the NBA, and his paycheck will soon back up that fact. 

The Denver Nuggets fourth-year star tweeted the news himself on Tuesday afternoon:

It Looks like im going to be a nugget for another 4 yrs..Thanks to the Kronke family, Masai, nuggets fans and everybody 4 believing In me 😎

— Ty Lawson (@TyLawson3) October 30, 2012

NBA.com's David Aldridge followed up with the details of the extension, which meant Lawson won't become a restricted free agent at the end of the year:

The Denver Nuggets kept guard Ty Lawson off the 2013 market Tuesday by agreeing with the fourth-year guard on a four-year, $48 million extension, according to league sources.

Lawson turned down a four-year offer worth $45 million earlier this month, according to league sources, but the decision paid off. With a $12 million average salary, Lawson will be one of the league's top paid point guards, making more money per year than Boston's Rajon Rondo, who is in the third year of his five-year, $55 million contract. Only Deron Williams, Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook and Chris Paul will make more this season among active point guards than Lawson.

That's some scary good company for Lawson to be in, but there's no question that he's worth it. At the very least, there's no doubt the Nuggets' decision to pay a steep price to keep Lawson off a point guard starved market was the right one.

The 24-year-old is a bit of a mix between old-school and new-age point guards.

He isn't exactly going to go out and lead the team in scoring every night like a Kyrie Irving, John Wall or Russell Westbrook, but his solid mid-range jumper, increasing use of the three-point shot and ability to get to the rack with absolute ease means he can step up as a scorer whenever needed.

That's evidenced by 16.4 points per game and ridiculously efficient .488 field goal percentage, .579 true shooting percentage and .535 effective field goal percentage.

Of course, the dynamic point guard can also distribute whenever he wants. In 2011-12, he improved his assists for the third straight season to 6.6 per game.

Throw in his ability to run the break perfectly and his pesky defense (1.3 steals per game), and it's clear that Lawson is a premier point guard in this league capable of leading a Finals-caliber team. 

With yet another shooter in Andre Iguodala in town, we will continue to witness that in 2012-13.