A rocky 5-10 start to the season for the Houston Rockets brought about the firing of head coach Kevin McHale, but their struggles also had reasonable questions raised about their primary offseason acquisition, Ty Lawson.
The dynamic point guard we saw in Denver hasn’t manifested at all in Houston. Lawson’s representatives reportedly urged for a trade so he might have a better opportunity elsewhere, but that hasn’t panned out.
As the Feb. 18 trade deadline approaches, Sam Amick of USA Today reports that Houston is expected to hang onto Lawson:
More Rockets: I'm told they expect to keep Ty Lawson past Feb. 18 trade deadline. Recent chatter about Bucks, but they're rolling w/ him.
— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) January 22, 2016
Lawson is on the final year of a guaranteed contract with a $12 million salary. That makes it hard to find a viable trade suitor given his performance.
The Rockets are still scrapping, as usual, but they’re finding some rhythm. They’ve won eight of their last eleven games. While Lawson hasn’t established a prolific presence in the back court (in fact, they’re using him as a back up) he still has an opportunity to contribute to a playoff-contending team.
Don’t forget how the Rockets swiveled their way into the Conference Finals last season. This team can be wildly unpredictable with the kind of pieces they have, which worked highly in their favor last season. Keeping Lawson in the meantime, who’s still an undisputedly better playmaker than Patrick Beverley, gives them depth at the position and another offensive tool to help them do what they’ve been doing — make things weird.