Ty Lawson is not the player he was before leaving the Denver Nuggets. Far from it.
There are nights when you see his quickness and evasiveness in its fullest forms, moments when you hearken back to his days as a fringe All-Star and, despite his diminutive frame, one of the most electric point guards in the NBA. That Ty Lawson is gone, for now at least. And at 29 years old, it may be tough for him to recapture the momentum he built in Denver, particularly when he may never have a chance to play such a high volume role again.
But Lawson, for his part, believes he has found a home with the Sacramento Kings, and he wishes to stay there beyond this season. As he told FanSided’s Wes Goldberg:
And yet Sacramento has become the unlikely home to Ty Lawson. While teammates a few lockers down ask for a trade, Lawson is hoping he doesn’t get lumped in as salary filler.
“Aw yeah, definitely,” Lawson said after a recent game, smiling at the idea of settling down. “That traveling from team to team is not cool—it’s not the wave man—so I’m feeling a good level here and I’m hoping I can stay.”
Lawson hasn’t been spectacular for the Kings, but he’s finally shooting above 40 percent from the floor again, with an assist rate that, while below his career average, has jumped past 25 percent. By box plus-minus, he ranks as a below-average offensive contributor, according to Basketball-Reference, a problem for any point guard who’s supposed to be an impact player.
Still, this is welcomed progress from the worst year of his career last season. Lawson isn’t back. The version of him we knew two years ago may be gone forever. But, at the bare minimum, he looks like he’s well on his way to being serviceable in some team’s rotation–even if, after this season, that team isn’t Sacramento.