Utah is in the market for a point guard. They lost Dante Exum before the season started and have tried to go with a combination of Trey Burke and Raul Neto, but it’s not been impressive (they have won lately because Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert both got healthy).
Houston is trying to pitch Utah on taking Ty Lawson as the solution to their problems — and getting him out of Houston, where he has been a major disappointment this season. Marc Stein of ESPN has the report:
There is some mutual interest.
That said, in a past twitter chat Lawson said he would never want to play for Utah because the city was “too boring.”
For the Rockets, this makes sense — they move Lawson (which they’ve wanted to do for a while now), they get a potential backup point in Burke plus whatever is needed to make the salaries match.
Does this make sense for the Jazz? When healthy and focused he’s a quick pick-and-roll point guard who could make plays with Favors and Gobert. He plays up tempo, is a solid scorer, and can really dish the rock and help move the ball. He also hasn’t played anything like that guy in recent games for the Rockets when he did get some run. He’s battled some alcohol issues with two DUIs in Denver, where he clashed with coach Brian Shaw. Is he past that and would he be a good influence on a young Jazz core?
The advantage for the Jazz is that Lawson’s contract is not guaranteed for next season — a condition of his move to the Rockets last summer — so if the Jazz want a rental to see how it works, they can swing this deal and cut bait this summer. But do they want to give up assets for that rental?
It’s a deal to watch. The Jazz want to make the playoffs and Lawson could help them get there. Even if they don’t keep him long term.
Between Lawson and Howard, the Rockets are aggressive on the trade market, but making headway will not be easy.