We’ve kind of been joking about the fact that the Kings haven’t added another Point Guard all offseason, but last night they finally addressed the issue, offering free agent Ty Lawson a one-year contract per Yahoo!’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Per Woj, Lawson was set to meet with the New Orleans Pelicans as well until the Kings offered him a deal.
Talent-wise, Lawson was probably the best Point Guard available. The Kings have been linked to him in rumors for a couple years now, ever since his career started going downhill in Denver. However one of the main connections between Lawson and the Kings was George Karl, now no longer with the organization. There was hope that with Karl in charge, Lawson would be able to bounce back. The Kings obviously still have that same hope even without Karl.
Lawson’s career began to take a downturn after consecutive years with DUI arrests. He also was arrested in 2013 in a domestic violence dispute. Current Kings Point Guard Darren Collison is also dealing with similar issues at the moment, having been charged with domestic violence in July. Lawson spent last season with the Houston Rockets but only managed to average 5.8 points on 38.7% shooting and 3.4 assists in 53 games before Houston decided to cut ties. Those numbers were well below Lawson’s career averages. Lawson finished the year in Indiana, where he played marginally better, averaging 4.9 points on 41.8% from the field and 4.4 assists.
Sacramento has had a history in the past of trying to take on risky talent in the hopes that they will turn their careers around in Sacramento. Part of the reason that a team like the Kings continues to do that is because it’s one of the few ways they can gain talent at little cost. However it’s often come at the expense of team chemistry and cohesion, and we’ll see if Lawson’s career is still salvageable under the guidance of new Kings coach Dave Joerger. He is just 28 years old, and the one-year deal doesn’t give the Kings much long-term risk. Should Lawson be able to get back on the right path, this could end up being a pretty solid move for the Kings. But if it all falls apart and Lawson contributes to team chemistry issues or continues to have problems of his own, the Kings have nobody to blame but themselves. It’s a risk they’re willing to take, and we’ll see if it was worth it soon enough.