Kurt Helin

Denver Nuggets v Portland Trail Blazers

Ty Lawson to enter alcohol rehab facility

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Ty Lawson appeared in a Colorado courtroom Friday for  a DUI citation he received in that state, and there his attorneys told the judge Lawson will enter a rehab facility in California this weekend, according to the Associated Press.

Lawson was arrested for another DUI, this one in California, this past week. From the AP:

The troubled point guard attended a pre-trial hearing Friday in Denver, where his lawyer said Lawson enters treatment Saturday at Cliffside Malibu, a celebrity rehabilitation center in California that treats patients with addiction and psychiatric issues.

“We will be handling the personal needs of the defendant,” said Lawson’s lawyer, Harvey Steinberg. Lawson did not speak at the hearing….

“Now we have a new situation that needs to be dealt with,” Steinberg said Friday, referring to the Los Angeles arrest.

The judge ordered Lawson to use a blood alcohol monitoring device once he gets out of treatment. Also, the judge said she would issue an arrest warrant for Lawson if he leaves rehab early.

Hopefully, Lawson can get sober and deal with his personal issues.

The Nuggets have been trying to trade Lawson since the NBA Draft, but in part because of league-wide concerns about his alcohol use (and the price Denver was asking) there were no takers. While several teams — the Lakers, Pistons, and Rockets — reportedly still have interest in Lawson, those likely are fliers from teams looking to get something for basically nothing. The Nuggets could just waive Lawson outright.

Asked directly in Las Vegas, Nuggets execs said they expect Lawson to be at training camp ready to play. However, with just drafted Emmanuel Mudiay being the rookie star of Summer League and looking like a player, plus the signing of Jameer Nelson, it seems the Nuggets have prepared for life after Lawson.

Did Kings’ management ask Mike Malone to play 4-on-5? “It came up.”

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It was laughed at around the league when reports leaked that Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadive asked his coaches to consider playing 4-5 on defense and leaving a cherry picker back by the basket. Not have a guy leak out early like the ultimate version of Corey Brewer, but literally to have one guy not go back down the court and just wait for a ridiculous outlet pass. It’s not something that would work.

But he didn’t really suggest that, right?

Um…

From Zach Lowe’s Grantland interview with former Kings and now Nuggets coach Mike Malone, when he asked Malone about that rumor.

“It came up. I was approached. I’m a defensive guy, and I know you can’t defend well if you only have four guys out there.”

The fantastic USA Today NBA writer Sam Amick said something interesting about Ranadive recently: He made his fortune in a tech world environment where everyone sitting around and brainstorming in a “there’s no bad idea” kind of way is accepted and encouraged. They are trying to get people to think outside the box.

That may not work as well in an NBA environment. To put it kindly.

(BTW: you should read the entire Lowe/Malone Q&A, some excellent stuff in there about LeBron, Mudiay and others.)

Jimmy Butler on Derrick Rose: “I don’t think we have any beef or whatever”

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After the Bulls had been eliminated from the playoffs, the rumors started: There was tension between stars Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler. There is only one basketball and they weren’t sharing it well, the stories went.

Since then, Butler has gone on record denying any issue.

That continued Wednesday. Butler — who got an invite to Team USA mini-camp in Las Vegas this summer — was on ESPN’s First Take this week and again denied that there was any tension between him and Rose.

“I think he’s always been supportive of me being aggressive, especially on offense,” Butler said … “We all know that I’ll be the aggressor on defense. So from what I can tell, the guy’s always been in my corner…

“The only reason that it came up is because we lost,” Butler said. “I don’t think we have any beef or whatever you want to call it. I think we just want to win. We didn’t win, so now [people say] we’re beefing, now we have a problem with each other, and I don’t think that’s the case.”

Butler has admitted in the past not everyone in the Bulls locker room has gotten along in recent years, but he said his issues were never with Rose.

If there was tension around touches and shots in Tom Thibodeau’s grind-it-out offense, then new coach Fred Hoiberg’s up-tempo, motion offense should help diffuse things. Everybody’s going to get touches if they hustle and move off the ball.

What would really help smooth over everything in Chicago? Winning. As in, be the team in the East that is the biggest threat to Cleveland winning. The Bulls on paper look like a team that can be a threat, but now they have to make that promise a reality.

Rumor: Seth Curry near guaranteed deal with Pelicans

Washington Wizards vs New Orleans Pelicans
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LAS VEGAS — Seth Curry has been putting up points at the NBA Summer League. A lot of points — 25.3 a game. That’s more than anyone else in Las Vegas. He has shown some ability to create space for himself off the dribble and knock down midrange jumpers, but he lacks the efficiency of his brother — Seth is shooting 47.8 percent overall and 18.5 percent from three.

Still, that appears to be enough to get him a deal

From Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times.

Other sources have said there are talks but nothing is certain, including guaranteed money.

New Orleans has Jrue Holiday — hopefully finally healthy — at the point, likely with Norris Cole behind him (Cole is a restricted free agent who played well for New Orleans last season, it seems unlikely there would be an offer at this point the Pelicans would not match).

Curry as a third point guard makes some sense — again, he can score. But he’s got to be more consistent from three, he’s got to set others up better, and he has to play much better defense to get any serious run. As long as it’s a minimum deal, it works fine. This Curry is not a game changer.

Report: Lakers, Rockets, Pistons interested in trading for Ty Lawson

Denver Nuggets v Portland Trail Blazers
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Ty Lawson’s trade value — already not very high, Denver has been trying to move him since the draft to no avail — plummeted this week when he was arrested for his second DUI this year.

But it is not dead.

At least three teams are still interested in potentially dealing for Lawson — the Lakers, Rockets, and Pistons, reports Chris Mannix at Sports Illustrated.

While Lawson’s off-court problems have raised red flags, teams remain intrigued by his talent. Last season, Lawson averaged 15.2 points per game in 75 games with the Nuggets. His 9.6 assists per game was good for third in the NBA—the second straight season he finished in the top three in the category. And with this summer’s exploding salaries—five years, $80 million for Detroit’s Reggie Jackson; four-years, $70 million for Dallas’s Wesley Matthews—the two years, $25 million Lawson has left on his contract is a reasonable number.

As Mannix notes, do not leave Sacramento off the list of potential Lawson suitors. Kings coach Goerge Karl was a huge fan of Lawson and coached him in Denver, he might want him back (although with Rajon Rondo and Darren Collison why they would add Lawson is beyond me… or logic).

Any team that brings him in needs to be concerned about the potential locker room distraction, and what punishments he could face for the multiple DUIs. Maybe a fresh setting can change things for Lawson (especially if there is a potential playoff berth and something worth playing for on the line), but if he has an addiction issue a move alone will not be enough. There’s a lot for teams to assess.

There is not much interest in Lawson, but it is more than zero.