After Ty Lawson left Denver for a new beginning with the Houston Rockets, word came out that Lawson’s difficulties with alcohol in Denver were such that often the team could “smell it on him” in practice. Top that history off with Lawson’s most recent DUI arrest and the point guard became swiftly expendable in Denver.
The Rockets didn’t have to put much in the package to get Lawson, given the circumstances. The analytics-enabled Rockets GM Daryl Morey no doubt crunched the numbers on Lawson, one of the fastest guards in the NBA even when he was reeking of booze. The Rockets need a world-class talent to support James Harden in the backcourt if they’re going to push into the Finals. A sober Lawson — with his speed, smarts, tremendous skill set and North Carolina pedigree — could be just that piece. All depends on if he stays healthy, which in Lawson’s case doesn’t mean his knees or ankles like most players but his head and sobriety. Lawson’s in rehab now and Morey has told ESPN he’s confident he’s on track. A sober Ty Lawson could explode onto the basketball world like the sober Robert Downey Jr. did in Hollywood, going from troubled jailbird to Iron Man zillionaire.