Ty Lawson is now the starting point guard for the Denver Nuggets. Ty Lawson gets the nod after the Nuggets traded Chauncey Billups to the New York Knicks as part of the Carmelo Anthony deal. Lawson has shown some real flashes of brilliance on the court before, but now he will get the chance to take his game to the next level.
Chris Tomasson of FanHouse has reported that Nuggets coach George Karl has indicated that Lawson will now be the starting point guard. This is despite the acquisition of Raymond Felton in the Knicks deal, and it has created further rumors that Felton will be part of another deal before the NBA trade deadline on Feb. 24. It could also simply mean that Felton will come off the bench, giving the Nuggets some really nice depth at the point guard position.
Having Lawson on the roster really seems to have made it easier for the Nuggets to trade Billups, and now the North Carolina product will have his shot to hold down that starting job for many years to come. This is just his second year in the league, and Lawson has provided a nice spark off the bench. In the 2010-11 season, Lawson is so far averaging 10.4 points and 3.7 assists per game, while averaging just under 24 minutes a night.
Having Felton on the same roster could put a lot of pressure on Lawson early on, but it’s not like he didn’t see pressure when he was playing college basketball for North Carolina. He is also the cheaper option for Denver, making his job a bit safer. Lawson makes $1.6 million in 2011-12 and then has a team option for about $2.5 million in 2012-13.
As for Felton, he has one more year left on his contract, and is due $7.5 million next season. This could lead to him being used as a trade chip next season if he isn’t dealt in the remaining time during the current season.
With this trade, the Nuggets just got more depth for their team, even if they lost a superstar in the deal. The additions of Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, and Timofey Mozgov will give the Nuggets a lot of youth in the lineup, and it looks like Gallinari will go right into the starting lineup. This is enough talent to help Denver get into the 2011 NBA Playoffs, and it will certainly be interesting to see how far they can get without Carmelo.
It’s really good for Lawson to have the support of Coach Karl already, but he will have to prove himself this season if Denver has plans on changing coaches at the end of the current season.
Lawson will get his first chance to lead the Nuggets on Tuesday, Feb. 22, when they play against the Memphis Grizzlies.
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