In the pantheon of surprise rumors, the Denver Nuggets being open to trading Ty Lawson ranks somewhere between “Oh” and “Yeah, we know.”
Related: The Denver Nuggets are willing to trade Ty Lawson.
On the heels of a since-deleted Instagram post that included Lawson waxing a desire to play for the Dallas Mavericks—or at least with some of their players, the Nuggets aren’t happy. And Lawson, in turn, isn’t safe.
From The Denver Post‘s Christopher Dempsey:
Lawson soon after deleted the post, but the damage was done, the contents already burned into the heads of Nuggets fans.
And, most important — or unfortunate, depending on your point of view in this one — it was burned into the organization’s head.
Once considered an untouchable on the Nuggets’ roster, the point guard’s actions over the past two years have done everything to remove himself from that space. His new reality? He’s as susceptible to the next good trade offer as any other tradeable player in the NBA.
If Lawson wants to remain with the Nuggets, he has an uphill battle to convince the organization there are enough good reasons to put him back on the untouchable list. And there isn’t enough time to completely turn the tide by one of the biggest wheeling-and-dealing times of the year, the June draft.
Little about this is mind-bending. Lawson waltzed in and out of trade rumors throughout this past season. If he ever was untouchable, it was before 2014-15. His social-media sentiments have merely seemed to stoke a fire that was always brewing.
Now we wait for the next batch of rumors to start. Chatter will be heard and reported ahead of the draft, into free agency and beyond. Point guard is an incredibly deep position, and Lawson is undersized, but he gets into the paint at will, creates open looks in an instant and is on a reasonable contract that spans through the 2016-17 season.
Ideally, Lawson would wind up on a team that’s looking to run and has the requisite size, inside and out, to make up for his 5’11” frame. So, not the Mavericks.
Previous rumors had Lawson’s former coach, now head honcho of the Sacramento Kings, George Karl interested in acquiring him. Thing is, the Kings don’t have much to offer in the way of immediate impact players, draft picks or financial relief.
For that matter, finding the right deal for Lawson will be difficult. The Nuggets aren’t in position to sell low, nor are they likely to get the string of expiring deals that would allow them to sell low—not with teams hesitant to compromise salary-cap flexibility for 2016.
There’s a real chance Lawson ends up sticking in Denver, unless the Nugget receive a trade offer that blows them out of the water. As for whether that offer will actually come, or whether the Nuggets are willing to sell incredibly low on their once-prized point man, we don’t know.