Jul 20, 2015 12:37 AM by CBS Sports
By James Herbert | NBA writer
The Houston Rockets will acquire Ty Lawson and a 2017 second-round pick from the Denver Nuggets in exchange for Kostas Papanikolaou, Pablo Prigioni, Joey Dorsey, Nick Johnson and a 2016 protected first-round pick, according to Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski.
Lawson, 27, has appeared to be on his way out of Denver for a while, despite general manager Tim Connelly saying that the organization would "stand firmly behind him" as he goes through a "rough time." The point guard was arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence in January in Denver and again this past week in Los Angeles. He will enter a 30-day alcohol rehab program before appearing in court in August. The Nuggets drafted Lawson's successor, Emmanuel Mudiay, less than a month ago.
For the Rockets, Lawson and James Harden will immediately become one of the most potent offensive backcourts in basketball. They're both used to having the ball in their hands all the time, though, so there will be an adjustment period. It also presumably moves the defensive-minded Patrick Beverley to the bench, but Houston can probably get away with going super-small with him and Lawson playing together in stretches. While can question this move when it comes to what it will mean for team chemistry, from a pure talent perspective the Rockets bought low on an extremely talented player.
Denver, on the other hand, just wanted to move on. New coach Mike Malone suddenly has a deeper roster, and you knew that Connelly wouldn't move Lawson without getting a first-round pick in return. It's not a great haul for someone as talented as Lawson, but the trade market wasn't going to get better given his off-the-court issues.
(Photo credit: USATSI)