The Houston Rockets finally pulled the trigger on the deal everyone's been waiting all offseason for, acquiring Denver Nuggets point guard Ty Lawson for a collection of non-contributors and a protected first-round pick.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski, the Rockets will give up Nick Johnson, Pablo Prigioni, Kostas Papanikolaou, Joey Dorsey and a protected first-round pick. They'll get back a second-rounder. This is a highway robbery for the NBA's third-leading assist guy in 2014-2015.
Not only do the Rockets acquire an immediate upgrade at starting point guard, the entire roster makes so much more sense with the guys they give up. The dead weight that was Joey Dorsey is gone. Nick Johnson and Pablo Prigioni became extraneous at the point because Lawson and Beverley are both locked up until next year and beyond. Jason Terry will likely be back as a shooter off the bench, not a starting PG.
Not all is rainbows and lollipops, however. Lawson has been ordered by a judge to spend 30 days in rehab after he managed to get his second DUI arrest of 2015 last week. He has a perfectly agreeable contract at more than $12 million this year and $13 million next year, considering his level of contribution, and the Nuggets were happy to rid themselves of him.
I wrote last week that the Rockets shouldn't trade for Lawson because of those legal problems, and the fact that he's not an ideal fit. I'm still not 100 percent sold on the idea -- those things are still true after all -- but I assumed Morey would have to give up an asset of, you know, actual value to get the deal done. Terrence Jones, disappointing as he's been in the past two playoffs, is not worth the Lawson headache.
But the package Morey gave up? This is unbelievable, but also entirely believable. Yet another offseason, and he manages to undeniably improve his team, looking like he's the lone chess player in a league full of checkers all-stars. Just look at this roster now:
PG: Lawson, Beverley, Terry (probably)
SG: Harden, McDaniels, Marcus Thornton
SF: Ariza, Brewer, Dekker
PF: Motiejunas, Jones, Harrell, Christian Wood
C: Dwight, Capela
That's 15 players right there. That's a championship contender. In Morey We Trust.