Ty Lawson signs with Sacramento

Ty Lawson 2

Ty Lawson will try and follow the Rajon Rondo route, as he signs a one-year deal with the Sacramento Kings in a bid to revitalise a flagging career and build some market value. The nuggety point guard has had quite the fall from grace – a string of DUI’s, a domestic violence charge and a couple of failed ventures with the Houston Rockets and Indiana Pacers over recent seasons. However, at just 28 years of age Lawson is keen to make amends and the Sacramento Kings need a veteran point guard (after Rondo bolted for a nice deal with the Chicago Bulls) so it seems like a suitable if not scary fit.

There is no denying the Sacramento Kings need a point guard. Currently, they have Darren Collison on the roster (and he is facing domestic violence charges of his own) and Garrett Temple as a back-up. Needless to say – they suck at the one spot. Lawson could be the answer to that glaring hole, but it doesn’t come without a huge risk. The Kings have fought time and time again to shake the very real issue around team chemistry, locker room cohesion and “quality” of personnel. While they seem to be on an upward trend, it is a very delicate balance.

Ty Lawson

If they get the early Denver version of Lawson, the Kings instantly become a better team on the floor. People tend to forget that Lawson had some really good years in the Rocky Mountains. He put up nearly 18ppg and 10apg and was a wrecking ball all over the court. He has never had an issue passing the rock or making his teammates better, which will work really well with DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay. He was also, at his peak, a quality offensive player even with a shaky jump shot. He could get to the rim and finish through contact – something that the Kings have also struggled to find in recent years.

With new head coach David Joerger at the helm, a quality point guard is going to be of great use. Joerger is used to having Mike Conley and while Lawson isn’t in “that” realm anymore, if he is able to build on a solid off-season and develop some confidence and consistency as a starter with a clearly defined role, he is an asset. Joerger loves a point guard who can move the ball and also loves to utilise talented big men, and now, he might have both in Sacramento. You’d take 15ppg and 8apg from the point guard spot any day of the week, especially if you haven’t overpaid for that kind of output.

Ty Lawson Tweet 1

All signs point to Lawson being focused. He tweeted his “excitement” for the season ahead and also laid it all bare in a quality interview for The Undefeated identifying his struggles, being honest with his feelings and really giving the impression that he wants to turn it all around. If that is the case, the Kings could actually start to look more and more like a playoff candidate. They secured some talent during the off-season (Arron Afflalo, Anthony Toliver, Matt Barnes) and have retained DeMarcus Cousins  and Rudy Gay, along with “perennial breakout candidate” Ben McLemore. With a new coach and game plan, and IF the locker room can stay united and the front office remain calm and focused, 40+ wins isn’t a pipe dream. But it’s a lot of IF’s.

Perhaps Lawson is just saying the right things in order to get himself a contract. Perhaps his off court issues will plague him and then filter across to an already fragile locker room. Or, he might just be ready to get back to the game that he loves and playing at a high level. With quality teammates and locker room guys like Afflalo and Tolliver, the Kings don’t appear to be as “fraught with danger” for a career rebuild. After all, it worked a treat for Rondo.

I never shy away from making a good old fashioned prediction. I’m happy to be called on it, but I’m going out on a limb here and suggesting that Ty Lawson is about to prove all the doubters and haters wrong. I have a really strong feeling that all he needed was a fresh start, a clean slate, a chance and a defined role as a starting NBA point guard to re-establish himself. He certainly gets that in Sactown – and with limited scrutiny. I’m excited to see this pairing of Lawson and Cousins. I wrote a while ago about Cousins needing someone like Bledsoe to run with and while Lawson is no Bledsoe, he certainly is better than any other option the Kings had at the point.

I think the only problem the Kings will have is keeping him after the one year deal expires and teams come knocking on the door with a cheque book out. Get those cowbells ringing Kings fans – exciting TYmes ahead.


What do you think? Join the discussion on twitter @MarkBruty or @AboveTheRimBlog

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