A miserable 2015-16 season sent Ty Lawson out on the open market looking for a chance to rejuvenate his career. The Sacramento Kings offered that salvation, signing the veteran point guard to a new deal.
The Kings announced the move Wednesday, per Sam Amick of USA Today, who reported the one-year deal is non-guaranteed.
Kurt Helin of Pro Basketball Talk provided his initial take on how Lawson will fit on the Kings roster:
The Kings will start Darren Collison at the point, but Lawson should get a decent run as a backup. Lawson is a solid playmaker and has a spot up shot, when he is right.
What the 28-year-old Lawson also will get is another chance — he hasn't impressed in his past few stops and if that doesn't change his NBA career could end soon.
After a falling-out with the Denver Nuggets, Lawson never caught on in the Rockets rotation. He and James Harden made for an awkward fit because of their ball dominance, and Lawson wound up starting just 12 of his 53 games. As his playing time went from dwindling to nonexistent after the All-Star break, the Rockets sent him on his way with a buyout in March.
Signing with the Pacers did little to turn Lawson's season around, as he saw no major uptick in performance. A foot injury and the late timing of his arrival left him with only 13 regular-season games in Indiana, and he played sparingly during the team's first-round playoff loss to the Toronto Raptors.
It was a jarring downturn for a player who spent his first six seasons as an offensive dynamo for the Nuggets. Lawson nearly averaged a double-double (15.2 points and 9.6 assists) during his final season in Denver.
The questions surrounding him were always related to character: He's been arrested multiple times for driving under the influence and has clashed with head coaches. Despite Lawson's issues on and off the court, new Pacers head coach Nate McMillan had some good things to say about him in May, per Conrad Brunner of 1070 The Fan:
I was in the West for a number of years coaching against that guy. He has the speed and he certainly has the game to establish that tempo. When he was in Denver under (George) Karl, he was deadly. There's probably one other guy that has that type of speed – John Wall. So Ty certainly could be the guy to establish that tempo. That was the main reason Larry tried to bring him in. I think he only played 13, 14 games for us so it was hard to really take a good look at him.
Given his disappointing 2015-16 season, Lawson will need to be a solid locker room guy and secure a spot in the rotation to turn his career around.
By buying low on him now, Sacramento hopes it will see some semblance of the player who gave defenses fits in the Mile High City.