Guard Ty Lawson has signed a deal with the Indiana Pacers, according to The Vertical’s Shams Charania. The Houston Rockets bought out Lawson’s contract on Tuesday after his disappointing 53-game stint with the team. He cleared waivers on Thursday before quickly coming to an agreement with the Pacers.
Lawson should represent an upgrade over Young, but he has issues on and off the court. After starring for the Denver Nuggets for several years, he became discontent as the team sunk into the depths of the Western Conference following the dismissal of former coach George Karl in 2013. He was arrested on DUI charges for the fourth time in his NBA career in July 2015, which likely represented the final straw for Denver’s front office.
Less than a week after that arrest, Denver traded him to Houston for a lottery-protected first-round pick in 2016 and a package of non-guaranteed contracts. The Rockets hoped Lawson could co-exist alongside All-Star James Harden in Houston’s backcourt.
The experiment did not go as planned. The Rockets’ offense scored nine fewer points per 100 possessions with Lawson on the court, as he converted just 33 percent of his three-pointers while spotting up on the perimeter and letting Harden do most of the on-ball work.
It’s possible Lawson could experience a rebirth in Indiana if he’s allowed to run their second-string offense as a distributor rather than a spot-up shooter. Then again, the 28-year-old will likely have to share ball-handling duties with Hill and shooting guard Monta Ellis, who also thrives with the ball in his hands.
The terms of Lawson’s contract have yet to be disclosed, but it’s doubtful the Pacers broke the bank to ink Lawson, whose stock has never been lower. All in all, this is a low-risk move that will likely give Indiana’s bench unit a shot in the arm on offense while sacrificing some defensive potential.