Ty Lawson For The Sixth Overall Pick? No Thanks, Denver.


On June 17th Raj Sheran tweeted that according to ESPN Insider Chad Ford, the Denver Nuggets (now led by a group including former-Kings personnel Michael Malone and Pete D’Alessandro) have been in trade talks with the Sacramento Kings in an attempt to acquire Sacramento’s sixth overall pick in 2015.

The offer for the valuable draft pick? Nuggets point guard Ty Lawson.

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No offense to Denver, but if I were Vlade Divac I would’ve been too busy laughing to even hang up the phone on that ridiculous offer. Okay, maybe that’s a little bit offensive. But so is offering Lawson for the sixth overall pick in this wonderfully deep draft.

This might be an okay trade for the Kings–if they didn’t already have a point guard who’s just about equal to Lawson in Darren Collison. Their respective last season per 36 statistics actually favor Collison in most categories.

Darren Collison2745156512.7.4733.7.3734.2.7883.
Ty Lawson2775266512.5.4362.8.3414.9.7303.

Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 6/18/2015.

So Collison is a better shooter according to all three of his percentages, he scores more per 36, he blocks and steals more than Lawson does per 36 minutes, and he rebounds slightly more. Whereas Lawson only holds advantages in turnovers per 36 (by 0.1) and assists per 36 by a fairly wide margin.

The two are the same age, and both are signed to contracts that span the next two seasons. The difference here? Lawson will make nearly $26 million over those two years, while Collison makes just $10.2 million.

So essentially Denver wants the Kings’ sixth overall pick–which could very well be an impact player such as Willie Trill Cauley-Stein–for a point guard that makes two and a half times as much as Sacramento’s Darren Collison and is worse in essentially every category except assists in Ty Lawson.

Not to mention Lawson has a bit of baggage after his DUI arrest and subsequent skipped practice last season. In an NBA flooded with good point guards, Lawson is simply not worth the asking price, especially considering the fact that Darren Collison is under contract for the same time as Lawson and has performed roughly as well.

That’s not to say that there’s no place for Ty Lawson in the NBA. I do think he’s a solid starting caliber point guard and there are some teams that could really use him, given that he stays on the court and out of trouble in his new destination.

But given his age, salary, talent level and potential off-the-court issues there’s no way it’s in the Sacramento Kings’ best interest to give up much of anything for Lawson, much less one of the three most valuable assets the team holds.

If drafting Cauley-Stein to play center allows DeMarcus Cousins to slide to power forward and that makes Boogie happy, that is the move to make. Boogie is the future of this franchise, and the Kings don’t need to do anything else to upset him right now.

And as of right now, it appears Divac and the rest of the Kings’ front office agrees with me. They haven’t budged on the offer yet, and I doubt they will unless another team gets involved. I’m not sure Denver has enough appealing assets to pry that lofty draft pick away from Sacramento.

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