The Indiana Pacers announced Monday that they signed point guard Ty Lawson, who was recently waived by the Houston Rockets after the sides reached a buyout agreement, per The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski.
"We're glad to have Ty come play with the Pacers for this final run of the season," said Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird. "We think he brings added speed to our backcourt, he can get up and down the floor and he helps strengthen our second unit."
The Vertical's Shams Charania first reported Thursday that the two sides had reached a deal. Terms of the agreement have yet to be disclosed.
The Pacers also provided a statement from Lawson: "This is a good opportunity for me to come here, try to help the Pacers win and get into the playoffs. I'm just ready to play and do whatever is needed."
The Rockets acquired Lawson in a trade with the Denver Nuggets during the offseason with hope he could provide some stability at the point guard spot. Instead, he struggled to fit into the team's system, and that resulted in a more sporadic role before his tenure came to a premature end.
As the Rockets juggled lineups while seeking a spark after a sluggish start, Lawson posted lackluster numbers as a secondary piece of the rotation. It didn't come as much surprise when his name popped up in the rumor mill ahead of the trade deadline.
It became apparent that it would be best if the Rockets and Lawson went their separate ways. Lawson posted 15.2 points and 9.6 assists per game with the Nuggets last season but averaged just 5.8 points and 3.4 assists across 53 games with Houston.
Lawson is still at a point in his career where he can make a major impact if placed in the right situation. He finished tied for 13th in the NBA in offensive win shares just last year, per Basketball Reference. He just never managed to find that comfort zone in Houston.
He should serve as the chief backup to George Hill with the Pacers. It's a role previously split between Rodney Stuckey, who will likely operate mostly as an off guard for the rest of the season, and unproven rookie Joe Young.
Lawson is capable of providing a spark to Indiana's second unit. The Pacers as a whole rank 23rd in offensive efficiency, according to ESPN.com. Getting more consistent production off the bench would help as they try to lock down a playoff berth.
Expectations should be kept within reason after his struggles with the Rockets, but taking a chance on Lawson is understandable for a team looking for any advantage it can get in the crowded Eastern Conference playoff picture.
Ultimately, getting out of Houston was the right move for Lawson. The fact the Rockets couldn't deal him at the deadline illustrated his declining value. Now he'll get a chance to show whether he can still provide valuable minutes, which wasn't likely to happen in Houston down the stretch.
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