Where there's smoke, there is apparently fire as well.
According to Gary Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times, the Sacramento Kings are expected to make a play to acquire Lawson from the Nuggets: "Rumors persist Sacramento coach George Karl will make a play for Ty Lawson, who played for Karl in Denver."
That report was further validated by new Nuggets coach Mike Malone as he made his introductory press conference on Tuesday. Asked about players such as Lawson who may not be on board with the direction of the organization, Malone admitted there could be a roster overhaul before the start of next season.
Lawson played for Karl when the two were in Denver and advanced to the playoffs each year from 2010-13 before Karl was fired that June.
Lawson has been connected to Karl and Sacramento since this winter, when Howard Beck of Bleacher Report reported the Kings coach would welcome his former Nuggets player to his new squad:
Sources say Karl would love to acquire Ty Lawson—if the rebuilding Nuggets were to make him available—or any other members of his last Nuggets team, which won 57 games in 2012-13. Karl wants players who move the ball and push the tempo, and that could mean wild upheaval on the Kings roster.
If Malone is serious about ridding the Nuggets of disgruntled players, all signs point to Lawson's reunion with Karl in Sacramento, a move that would certainly bolster the Kings backcourt and give the team a dynamic tandem in Lawson and DeMarcus Cousins.
Boston Angling To Trade Up In The Draft
According to Woelfel, the Celtics are dangling both of their first-round picks in an effort to land a lottery pick: "It’s hardly a secret a slew of teams, including several lottery ones, are exploring potential trades. One team that is making a concerted effort to move into the lottery, league sources claim, is Boston. The Celtics are dangling their No. 1 picks: Nos. 16 and 28."
Boston’s wealth of draft picks puts the team in a prime position to make a move. The question is: Which prospects do the Celtics covet?
The Celtics are very set in their backcourt with Avery Bradley, Marcus Smart and Isaiah Thomas, so the team may be best suited to explore ways to upgrade their frontcourt.
Power forwards Brandon Bass and Jonas Jerebko are both free agents this summer, according to Spotrac, as are small forwards Luigi Datome and Jae Crowder.
While it may be difficult for Boston to move into the No. 1 or No. 2 slot to land the top two big men in the draft—Karl-Anthony Towns and Jahlil Okafor—perhaps the team could put itself in a position to grab one of the next wave of frontcourt players.
A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN New England previously reported there are “growing signs” that the Celtics have interest in Willie Cauley-Stein but would have to move up in the draft to land the former Kentucky star. That move certainly makes sense.
In addition to Cauley-Stein, Kristaps Porzingis and Myles Turner are other players projected to fall somewhere in the top 10 for whom the Celtics could potentially move up.
Celtics, Hornets Deal In The Works?
The Charlotte Hornets just made the biggest splash of the early part of the offseason by dealing Lance Stephenson to the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday. After acquiring forwards Spencer Hawes and Matt Barnes, the Hornets may now be looking to move out of their current draft spot.
Charlotte holds the No. 9 pick in next Thursday’s draft. According to Chad Ford of ESPN, the team is interested in drafting a shooting guard, and the players the team likes can be selected later in the first round:
That means the Hornets could be inclined to move out their current position and perhaps make a deal with a team looking to move up, such as the Celtics.
As mentioned earlier, Boston is reportedly trying to acquire a lottery pick. By making a deal with Charlotte, the Celtics can then pick in the top 10.
Players such as Stein and Turner are expected to be around in the top 10 picks, meaning the Celtics could upgrade their frontcourt. According to Jay King of Mass Live, point guard Cameron Payne, forward Trey Lyles and center Frank Kaminsky could also be draft targets.
By acquiring the Celtics’ first-round picks, the Hornets could then pick 16th and potentially select a shooting guard such as Hunter, Booker or Oubre, if available.
The match seems too good to be true, but that’s only because it makes a lot of sense. It will be interesting to see whether or not a deal will be made in the days leading up to the draft or if it will take place as late as draft day.