Chauncey Billups spent five seasons as a member of the Denver Nuggets, including one overlapping year with Ty Lawson in 2009-10. But the former NBA Finals MVP is apparently not a fan of the franchise's current starting point guard.
Speaking in a radio interview with 104.3 The Fan in Denver (h/t CBS Sports' James Herbert), Billups offered reasons why the Nuggets should trade Lawson:
Ty, he has not demonstrated what you want from the leader of your team and a guy who they've handed the keys to. He's not demonstrated the kind of leadership that you want. And you have a young kid named [Emmanuel] Mudiay coming in who I think has a chance to be a star in this league.
Billups added that young players come into the league and try to emulate what the best player on a team does "because that's one day what you want to be," making it hard for Mudiay to carve out his own identity on the team.
On the topic of what the Nuggets should take in a hypothetical deal for Lawson, Billups did say they need to get "proper value" instead of just dumping him because the 27-year-old is a valuable asset with his ability to score and assist.
Reports of a poor attitude have hung over Lawson for two years, according to Christopher Dempsey of the Denver Post, who also noted the former first-round pick was "as susceptible to the next good trade offer as any other tradeable player in the NBA."
Lawson's name has come up a lot in potential trade discussions, dating back to the regular season. He was most recently linked to the Sacramento Kings—where his former coach, George Karl, is currently working—by ESPN.com's Chris Broussard.
However, per Yahoo Sports' Marc J. Spears, the Kings have since agreed to a one-year deal with free agent Rajon Rondo.
The Nuggets, who finished last season 30-52, are in an odd position because they don't have many talented young players on their roster and have been declining for two years. Mudiay and Kenneth Faried are the best of the young bunch signed long term.
Trading Lawson could go a long way toward getting future assets to speed up the rebuilding process, though at this stage of the offseason, it's becoming harder to find a notable suitor.