But with the trade deadline past, there might be another path out of Houston.
The Houston Rockets and guard Ty Lawson are exploring a contract buyout, league sources told The Vertical.
Lawson is owed $3,502,446 the rest of this season.
It might be in his best interest to give up some of that money to find a better environment (nearly anywhere else) and reestablish his value. Lawson will certainly become a free agent this summer, because he — foolishly, it turns out — allowed his salary next season to become fully unguaranteed on condition of his trade from the Nuggets.
But he ought to be careful about throwing good money after bad. He has already lost what would have been an eight-figure salary for next season. Maybe he should just pocket all of this season’s salary.
The Rockets are $524,148 below their hard cap. Shedding Lawson would open a roster spot to sign a free agent — another player who has taken buyouts, a D-Leaguer or a player coming from China when that season ends. Houston still has a portion of the mid-level exception available, which could give the Rockets an upper hand over other teams offering only a minimum salary.
There could be plenty of common ground for a buyout number.