After rigorously scouting Lawson prior to the draft in 2008, the Nuggets were all but a lock to make him their pick. A baby DUI, and silly questions about his character made him feel it necessary to go back to North Carolina for another run at a championship.
With Lawson's decision to fore go the 2008 daft, the Nuggets soon followed, and traded their pick to the Hornets for a future first rounder. Fans of the Denver Nuggets were of course very disappointed when we learned that Lawson wouldn't be joining our team last season, but both the Nuggets and the Tar Heals went on to prosper.
Ty Lawson led the Heals to a championship, and the Nuggets went to the Western Conference Finals, and were a few horrible plays away from ousting the Lakers and making their first bid to the NBA Finals.
Soon after Denver's run to the brink of an NBA championship, as fate would have it, the Nuggets finally got the kid they wanted all along, thanks to a trade with a division rival, the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Despite Lawson's gaudy collegiate career, the doubts still remained about his size and ability to transition to a pro style game. Lawson answered the critics with 17 points in his very first NBA game.
With Chauncey Billups in the fold, Lawson is likely to put up huge numbers this season. Before the Billups injury Lawson struggled to get minutes, splitting back up time with Anthony Carter. Thanks to the injury to Billups, Lawson has gotten the opportunity to prove his worth, and he is doing so with very impressive numbers.
As a starter, Lawson has averaged 15.9 PPG at a 56 percent clip, to go along with 6.1 APG. Not too shabby for a player drafted in the latter part of the first round, especially when even as a starter, he has only logged 30 minutes per game. This is a guy that could very well hang with Monta Ellis energy wise. He'd give you a solid 40 minutes per game, no question about it.
The point though is simple. Beyond being a possible insurance policy for further injuries to Billups, Ty Lawson has earned the right to get in the game more often. With Lawson producing off the bench, the Nuggets will have a well rested Mr. Big Shot come playoff time. Quite a luxury for a team that could smell blood in last years playoffs.
If Denver is a healthy team come playoff time, the Lakers had better protect their neck. Denver will be a much tougher team, thanks to lil' number three, "The Law".