After getting his second DUI in 2015, Ty Lawson is still managing to draw interest from other teams. With the Denver Nuggets likely looking to move the point guard, the Los Angeles Lakers have emerged as a potential landing spot.
Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated reports that the Los Angeles Lakers have expressed interest in trading for Lawson. With Denver possibly dealing the six-year veteran, the Houston Rockets and Detroit Pistons have also reportedly looked into acquiring him.
L.A. isn’t necessarily in need of a point guard. With Steve Nash injured and Jeremy Lin underperforming, the position wasn’t an area of strength for the Lakers in 2014-2015. But Jordan Clarkson emerged as one of the NBA’s best rookies in the second half of the season, and Los Angeles added D’Angelo Russell with the No.2 pick in the draft. They also signed free agent combo guard Lou Williams.
Denver has added a few point guards of their own, giving them the ability to trade Lawson. The Nuggets drafted point guard Emmanuel Mudiay seventh overall in the draft, and they recently added free agent Jameer Nelson.
Lawson isn’t an elite point guard in the class of Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook and Stephen Curry, but he’s proven to be above average. The 27-year-old averaged a career-high 9.6 assists per game last season, and he’s averaged 16.4 points per game over the last four years. Should they add Lawson, the Lakers would have two players in their prime after the addition of Williams.
After posting their worst record in franchise history, the Lakers are looking to bounce next season under head coach Byron Scott. There’s little point in tanking, considering there’s no guarantee that they’d keep their lottery pick. Unless the Lakers end up with a top-three selection in next year’s draft, it will belong to the Philadelphia 76ers.
Los Angeles failed to add a marquee free agent this summer, missing out on the likes of LaMarcus Aldridge and DeAndre Jordan. But they did make one key addition through a trade, acquiring Roy Hibbert from the Indiana Pacers. The team also added Brandon Bass, who averaged 10.6 points and 4.9 rebounds per game for the Boston Celtics. General manager Mitch Kupchak also reportedly sought to sign star big man DeMarcus Cousins, but the Sacramento Kings were not interested, despite acrimony between the 24-year-old and head coach George Karl.
With all their additions and subtractions, the Lakers will look like a much different team next year. Kobe Bryant and Julius Randle are two of just five returning players, and they both missed the majority of last season with injuries. Nick Young was the team’s second-leading scorer, and L.A. has even looked into trading him.
The most likely outcome has Young returning to Los Angeles next year, but the Lakers have explored trading him. Bill Oram of the Orange County Register reports that L.A. “called around seeking suitors,” so they could clear room under the salary cap. But the team was unable to find a favorable deal, and they are no longer actively seeking a trade.
Young averaged 17.9 points in 64 games with the Lakers two seasons ago, but his numbers took a hit last year. He only played in 42 games, and he scored 13.4 points per contest on just 36.6 percent shooting from the field.