Trade Rumors: Ty Lawson, DeMarcus Cousins and how they could be related
Earlier today, we covered how Grantland's Zack Lowe wrote that the Celtics and Nuggets had 'preliminary discussions' regarding a trade around Ty Lawson. Initially, that was met by some confusion. The Celtics are riddled with holes, and areas that they need to improve, and the one position that appears to be in good shape is the starting point guard spot.
With time it started to make a little more sense. One of the truly great things about Marcus Smart is his versatility; he's shown himself to be able to play either guard positions, and capable of defending the 1-3 positions. Lawson and Smart could not only coexist, with Lawson's ability to create they could flourish. Adding him, at the right price, would be a great move for the Celtics.
'The right price' is crucial. It defines who Danny Ainge is as a general manager. Someone who is always looking to upgrade his roster. I think he takes a look at a team like Denver, a team whose looking to liquidate it's roster for picks, and thinks he might be able to get some real value out of a unique situation. I don't believe he thinks Lawson would be 'the answer', but an improvement over what he'd be willing to part with.
Lawson, or a player like Lawson, is an important asset for the Boston Celtics to have.
Allow me to explain why with another trade rumor:
Another Celtics’ big man rumor floating around during All-Star weekend has been their pursuit of All-Star DeMarcus Cousins. There is no indication he’s available from the team, but the speculation has been he and George Karl won’t work together and Karl wants to play faster without a low post center. So Boston is rumored to give it a try.
For what it's worth, there's absolutely no chance that Cousins will be moved before the deadline. The Kings owe it to themselves to see if Karl can right this ship. At the same time, there is reason to believe that it might not - Even the Carmelo Anthony led Nuggets finished in the top 5 in pace in each of the 8 seasons he spent in Denver with Karl. Playing with pace doesn't seem to benefit Cousins, and one could absolutely see a situation where Boogie forces his way out after another failed Sacramento experiment.
That brings us back to Lawson.
See, right now, if/when players like Cousins become available the Boston Celtics best offer - something like expirings and three first round picks - is an incredibly difficult sell. You're asking the Kings (or formerly the Wolves with Love) to part with their franchise player for the unknown. On every level, from the fans to the owners, its a disappointment because you're building forward with uncertainty. No idea where these picks will end up, and if the players selected will pan out.
But if you could offer someone like Lawson, a youngish (he's 27) proven top 8-12 Point Guard on an OK deal and pair him with two first round picks, suddenly you've got a much more intriguing offer. One that the Kings (or whoever the available superstar's team may be) have to at least think about.
That's fair, too. You can sell Lawson to fans, potential free agents, and if he doesn't work out he can be flipped again. Right now, the Celtics don't have anything like that to offer. And because of it, they're likely to miss out on any available superstars until they do.
Adding Lawson makes sense. You can add him to improve the roster, help the team become more attractive to potential free agents, or use him to land the whale you've been hunting for since the 'Big 3' era ended.
But you can only get there, if you can get him at the right price.