The Denver Nuggets could be coming to a crossroad and if they were to trade Ty Lawson, that would be the biggest indication that the team is setting off in a new direction. The Los Angeles Lakers, Milwaukee Bucks, and even the Boston Celtics appear to have differing levels of interest in the Nuggets point guard.
The latest rumors coming from ESPN's Chris Broussard and Basketball Insiders Alex Kennedy:
Sources say Denver trying to move Ty Lawson and that Nuggets coach Brian Shaw wants his old Indiana pupil George Hill as replacement— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) February 19, 2015
Sources: Lakers interested in Ty Lawson as well as Goran Dragic— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) February 19, 2015
Sources say the Bucks may be willing to move John Henson if he could help them make a splashy addition (such as Reggie Jackson/Ty Lawson).— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) February 19, 2015
Yes, Lawson missed Nuggets practice today, and Brian Shaw was frustrated with the guy he wants to lead the team, the guy he took to watch Peyton Manning operate in the off-season. Lawson has worlds of talent, is still young, but the Nuggets could be growing tired of his off-court issues. The Nuggets front office has indicated they will not let emotion force them into any moves. They have shown patience with second year head coach Brian Shaw, but could they be willing to bring in "Shaw guys?"
George Hill is making $8 million over the next two seasons, and could be a target that Shaw would like. The two were together in Indiana, but Hill has been inconsistent in his play, injured (only appeared in 15 games this season), and turns 29 years old in May. Hill could be a nice gap player until the Nuggets find their point guard of the future, but what would it take to get him out of Indiana?
If Lawson were to be on the move to the Lakers or Bucks, what could the Nuggets expect to get in return?
LA Lakers assets:
1) Their 2015 draft pick is top 5 protected, meaning they can only trade it on draft night if they still own the pick. If they get the 6th pick, it goes to the Suns. So, the Nuggets would have to wait until draft night to see about collecting that asset and would have to wait on a Lawson deal.
2) Julius Randle. He's a 20 year old power forward with a world of promise. He was selected 7th overall by the Lakers in the 2014 draft, but broke his right leg in his Lakers debut in November.
3) Jordan Clarkson. A 22 year old point guard prospect that was the 46th overall pick in the 2014 draft. The Nuggets would finally have a point guard with size, but he's far from a proven piece.
Any deal with the Lakers should likely wait until after the season to see if they would bite on their pick, should they keep it and not have to surrender it to the Phoenix Suns (from the Steve Nash trade).
Milwaukee Bucks assets:
1) All their own first round picks - they may make the playoffs, thus they'd have non-lotto picks.
2) Clippers 2017 first round pick - top 14 protected.
3) John Henson. One year left on his rookie deal and a qualifying offer the following season. Henson is a nice big man prospect at 24 years old, but may be nothing more than a nice role player off the bench.
4.) Jabari Parker. The 2nd overall pick in the 2014 draft was playing well until tearing his ACL after 25 games with the team. He's just 19 years old and could bounce back, but Nuggets fans would be leery of taking on an injured player. Or would they? Would the Bucks be crazy enough to include him in a deal?
If the Nuggets could net Randle from the Lakers or Parker from the Bucks in a Lawson trade (I might be insane for thinking they can, I don't know), they should seriously consider it. The Nuggets don't have a title window at the moment and pairing one of those guys with Jusuf Nurkic would be a step in the right direction for the team's future.
Stay tuned ...