Ty Lawson is trying to change his reputation in the NBA. This is a guy who brings a couple of DUIs in recent years and a reputation as a partier — including showing up to practice with alcohol on his breath. That hurt him in free agency, but Lawson has said that was untrue and didn’t reflect who he is as a person or player.
The Kings — an organization looking to change it’s reputation, too — gave him a shot, needing a backup for Darren Collison (who will miss the first eight games of the season, suspended for a domestic abuse plea deal). However, Lawson’s contract was not guaranteed. He can be let go and the Kings owe him nothing.
Sacramento Kings guard Ty Lawson will have to meet with team officials to explain himself after missing the Kings’ recent flight to Kentucky for an exhibition game, according to league sources.
Sources told ESPN.com that Lawson was late to a Kings shootaround in Las Vegas earlier this week, then missed the team’s East-bound trip before Saturday night’s Sacramento/Washington preseason game at the University of Kentucky’s Rupp Arena, which represented a homecoming of sorts for Kings star DeMarcus Cousins and Wizards counterpart John Wall.
The Kings attributed Lawson’s absence from the lineup in Lexington to “personal reasons.” He has since returned to Sacramento, sources said, and faces an uncertain future with his new team after the week’s events.
The Kings are an organization trying to turn the corner — both on the court and with their reputation off it. They may not be as lenient with a player who they see as setting back that effort, but it depends on the details of what happened (which we do not know).
Lawson, who struggled in stops in Indiana and Houston last season, has played well for the Kings this preseason, shooting 64.3 percent (9-of-14, 1-of-2 from three), and dishing out 13 assists to seven turnovers. For comparison with the other backup point guards, Jordan Farmar is shooting 47.1 percent overall but is 5-of-11 (45.5 percent) from three, plus has 11 assists and eight turnovers; Isaiah Cousins has played less than those two and is just 0-of-1 from the field, looking less impressive in his limited minutes.
None of those three reserve guards has a guaranteed contract, and all could be carried into the season then released (the contracts do not become fully guaranteed until January).