Rockets News

Houston Rockets reach buyout agreement with Ty Lawson

By Tamberlyn Richardson
Nov 4, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard Ty Lawson (3) claps after a play during overtime against the Orlando Magic at Toyota Center. The Rockets defeated the Magic 119-114. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 4, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard Ty Lawson (3) claps after a play during overtime against the Orlando Magic at Toyota Center. The Rockets defeated the Magic 119-114. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
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Adding Ty Lawson to the Houston Rockets roster was like one of those chemistry class experiments where you pour a substance into another glass beaker and wait for it to explode.

After a season spent waiting for Ty Lawson to either be integrated into the starting line-up or become a viable scoring option the Houston Rockets decided to buy him out of his contract Tuesday, March 1. Once approved by the Association, this buyout will allow Lawson to join another roster potentially to help with their playoff efforts.

Houston Rockets, guard Ty Lawson reached agreement on contract buyout. @WojVerticalNBA story on @TheVertical. https://t.co/w2XDson2bX

— The Vertical (@TheVertical) March 1, 2016

As mentioned, this experiment literally never lived up to expectations neither from the perspective of garnering ball movement and assists from last seasons top 3 assist disher, nor in any other capacity.

There will be many who point fingers of blame at James Harden for not giving up the ball or the coaching staff for not developing offensive strategy or sets Lawson could work with.

That said, at the end of the day Lawson didn’t integrate into the roster in any capacity – neither as a starter or a reserve. And for that, he must shoulder a good portion of the blame.

In terms of Houston, there will be long lasting residue from this failed trade that sent four players ( Kostas Papanikolaou, Nick Johnson, Pablo Prigioni, and Joey Dorsey to Denver, but worse gave up this season’s first round draft pick.  If the season were to end today, the Rockets would be out of the post season without a pick in the lottery. Not exactly an ideal situation.

Prior to the trade the point guard had grown increasingly unhappy in Denver and was looking for a fresh start after suffering 2 D.U.I’s in one year. Last season in Denver he averaged 15.2 points, 9.6 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game.  Though Lawson had his worst 3-point percentage of his career (34.1%) he was considered an upgrade who would improve surrounded by enhanced talent.

His greatest assets were considered his speed, ability to drive, help add player movement and ball handling. Yet, none of those qualities appeared to bake the trip from the mile high state to Houston. In fact, instead of building his talent he regressed significantly.

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For some unknown reason Harden and Lawson were never able to integrate their talent which resulted in the diminutive guard falling even further as his stats demonstrate. His numbers rank as the worst since his rookie campaign or the lowest of his career (5.8 points, 3.4 assists, 1.7 rebounds, shooting 38.7% from the field and 33.0% from three). This speaks to an issue in confidence which he’ll have to rediscover when he finds a new team.

Whether it occurs this season or over the summer, I won’t be surprised to find him back with George Karl (assuming Karl remains with the Sacramento Kings).

As for the timing of Lawson’s release, we are left to ponder why Daryl Morey has decided to release him now. Since the Rockets are still trying to nab a post season berth one would think keeping Lawson on the roster would help with depth and the potential he might eventually fit his role on the team.  This leads me to believe Lawson was released solely for financial purposes. With the Detroit trade falling through, it seems Morey is attempting to clear salary in an effort to get below a certain threshold where tax implications kick in.

For now, Lawson becomes the answer to a trivia question and one more example of the Houston Rockets 2015-16 – the season of frustration!

Next: Harden and Howard aren't the problem

Next: Peering into the future

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