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Why Try Ty?

“I feel like the old Denver Ty Lawson will be ready to show up.”

Ty Lawson, Ty Lawson aims to bounce back after stumbling

Divider2075529_GTy Lawson’s 6 year stint at the Denver Nuggets came to a quick and appropriately sobering end.  The Nuggets were in the midst of a 7 game winning streak on the back of big games from emerging center Jusuf Nurkic and fan favourite Ty Lawson; then, on January 23rd Lawson was charged with DUI and a number of other criminal offenses. As a result, Lawson’s life took a dramatic turn – he was surrounded by media which watched his every step, waiting for him to mis-step.  When he was arrested once again for driving under the influence in July, the Nuggets put plans into motion to move Lawson to the Rockets, ending his time in Denver.  

Ty struggled for majority of his time in Houston, and was waived at the beginning of March. Shortly after, Lawson was signed to the Indiana Pacers, where he struggled, and failed, to crack their rotation after an ankle injury.

Lawson’s last NBA season was a far-cry from his brighter days in Denver, where, in his best season, he averaged 17.6 points and 8.8 assists per game.  The immense scrutiny around his off-field behavior caused him to perform poorly – he put up a measly 5.6 points and 3.6 assists in 21 minutes.  Lawson said as much in an interview with Marc Spears on the Undefeated:

“Everything was under a microscope. I couldn’t play freely and loosely like i did before”. It’s understandable for the dip in performance, because sometimes basketball is not the focus. Ty needed help and eventually attended an alcohol rehabilitation program.

Ty Lawson aims to bounce back after stumbling, Marc Spears

Now, over a year since his last arrest, Lawson says his life is under control.  He’s also a 28-year-old player who is unsigned to an NBA team. 

ty-lawsonMy proposition is this: the Nuggets already signed D.J Kennedy to a 3-year deal that looks like a training camp invite – why not extend a similar invite to Lawson?  He’s focused and ready to play again at a high level, and now that the media attention surrounding his personal life has died down, there are no unrealistic expectations for him to play at his pre-controversy heights, at least right away.  Lawson played his most successful years in Denver – it could have a calming effect on his life and on the team.

If Ty can work his way back into the NBA through training camp, performing at a reasonable level while doing so, the Nuggets can sign him to a 1 year deal to test the waters.  As a veteran capable of averaging nearly a double-double with starter time, Lawson could be an asset as the Nuggets’ 15th man on the roster.

A Denver-Lawson reunion would be a winning situation for both parties: Ty gets to launch his NBA comeback, and the Nuggets get a talented floor general on the cheap. Lawson may never reach the heights of his 2014/15 season, but just to see Lawson back out on the court in Denver colors is an exciting possibility for Nuggets’ fans.  If nothing else, Lawson might reemerge as a force in the NBA, and, if he could pull of the come-back and perform, that narrative alone would sell seats.  

So, Denver: why not try Ty?

By Tim D’Elia