The Case for Ty Lawson - Statistically Speaking



*My systems rating of Ty Lawson: 99.0 (All-Star/Superstar)*


Many of you know about the college player statistical system that I have been using for the last few years. I unveiled it last year. This post isn’t really about my system, but it IS about statistics. It’s my case for drafting Ty Lawson with the 4th pick in the 2009 NBA draft.


The Kings' main position need is what? A point guard.


They need a point guard that can do four main things:

1. Defend.

2. Run a team and create shots for others, not just himself.

3. Shoot the three reliably.

4. High basketball IQ, play under control, is tough, is a leader and a winner.


Ty Lawson does all four and does them well.


1. He has quick feet and has one of the highest steal rates per minute of all point guards in the NCAA. Yes, he is barely 6’0 tall but so is Chris Paul.

2. He averaged NINE (9.0) assists per game per 40 minutes played. That is second only to Levance Fields among the top 50 NCAA point guard prospects this year.

3. Made almost half of his 3-pt attempts and almost 1/3 of his shots were threes.

4. Led his college team to the NCAA championship and was the best player on that team. He had nine steals in the NCAA championship game. Lawson went to the free throw line nearly six times per game. He is fearless going to the basket and will throw his body around. This season, he had one of the highest assist to turnover rates in NCAA history at 3.5/1.


Saving my best for last, there is one nearly SURE FIRE way to know that a point guard at the college level is going to be excellent in the NBA. Go to their stats page and look at their last two seasons of play. Get a calculator and look to see if they match ALL of the following criteria:


  • 50% FG shooting or better
  • An average of over 15 points per 40 mintues
  • An average of over 6.0 assists per 40 minutes
  • An assist/turnover rate of 2:1 or better
  • An average of over 2.5 steals per 40 minutes


In the past 30 years, there are very few players that have done all of that in the same season. Here are the only 8 players I know of (along with the stats of their best NBA season) that have reached all 5 of those marks:


John Stockton (17.2 pts, 14.5 assists, 2.7 steals, 51.4 FG%, 41.6 3-pt%, 4.1/1 A/T rate)

Isiah Thomas (21.2 pts, 13.9 assists, 2.3 steals, 46.0 FG%, 3.76/1 A/T rate)

Rod Strickland (17.8 pts, 10.5 assists, 1.7 steals, 5.3 boards, 43.4 FG%, 3/1 A/T rate)

Gary Payton (24.2 pts, 8.9 assists, 1.9 steals, 6.5 boards, 34.0 3-pt%, 3.3/1 A/T rate)

Tim Hardaway (22.9 pts, 9.7 assists, 2.6 steals, 47.6 FG%, 38.5 3-pt%, 2.9/1 A/T rate)

Andre Miller (16.5 pts, 10.9 assists, 1.6 steals, 4.7 boards, 45.4 FG%, 3.6/1 A/T rate)

Antonio Daniels (11.2 pts, 4.1 assists, 0.7 steals, 43.8 FG%, 4.1/1 A/T rate)

Chris Paul (22.8 pts, 11.0 assists, 2.8 steals, 5.6 boards, 50.3 FG%, 36.4 3-pt%, 3.7/1 A/T rate)


Now, you can add Ty Lawson to that list.


That’s quite a select group which includes 3 (or 4 if you include Chris Paul) of the best point guards in the history of the NBA. Not only has Lawson pulled it off this season but last season as well and in his freshman year he only missed because his steal rate was 2.37. I don’t know if I personally think that Ty Lawson will be as good as some of the players listed above, but the stats are in his favor. Of course, you don’t have to have those five things to become a great point guard (Magic shot less than 50% as did Jason Kidd, etc.), but if you do have them, as you can see, so far, it’s a near (Antonio Daniels) guarantee that you will become an excellent NBA player. Lawson’s assist/turnover rate is phenomenal at 3.5:1. That high a number is almost unheard of in college and one of the highest in NCAA history. His 3-pt shooting has increased from 36% to 47% - the same % Chris Paul had coming out of college. Needless to say, I think that Lawson is underrated in this draft and should be a top 10 lottery pick – if not a top 5, even at 5’11". Just for comparison sake here are Ty Lawson’s junior stats next to Chris Paul’s sophomore stats (note: CP3 matched the above criteria in his freshman year):


TL: 29.9 min, 16.6 pts, 6.6 assists, 2.1 steals, 53.2 FG%, 47.2 3-pt%, 3.5:1 a/t

CP: 33.4 min, 15.3 pts, 6.6 assists, 2.4 steals, 45.1 FG%, 47.4 3-pt%, 2.4:1 a/t


Chris Paul rated at 100 so it’s not a shock to me to see Ty Lawson rated where he’s at. Am I saying Lawson will be as good as Paul?




All I am saying is that I pray that Petrie and the rest of the scouts take a VERY CLOSE and SERIOUS look at Lawson. Most mock drafts have him going anywhere from between 7 to 17 – same as where Westbrook was sitting at this point last year.


Statistically he’s the "next Chris Paul" but statistics can lie (yes, I said it) and I honestly do NOT think he will be, however I do hope that the Kings give him a very close look, to say the least.

(This is a FanPost from a member of the Sactown Royalty community. The views expressed come from the member, and not Sactown Royalty staff.)

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