The Rockets are currently discussing moving point guard Ty Lawson to the Utah Jazz in exchange for Trey Burke according to Jazz beat writer Tony Jones.
The Utah Jazz and Houston Rockets are discussing a deal that would send Trey Burke out for Ty Lawson, league sources tell The Tribune— Tony Jones (@Tjonessltrib) February 17, 2016
The Rockets are extremely short on young players with upside, and while Burke hasn't exactly been a world beater in his three NBA seasons, he's only 23 years old and certainly has some potential. He's averaging 11.6 points and 2.6 assists in just 23 minutes per game this season, while shooting a career-best 42.3 percent from the field and 34.7 percent from deep.
The Jazz have apparently been seeking a veteran point guard to help lead them down the stretch, and despite all of his struggles this year, they've had their eye on Lawson for a few weeks now, according to Jones.
Sources tell the Tribune the Jazz have been interested in potentially acquiring Lawson for a few weeks— Tony Jones (@Tjonessltrib) February 17, 2016
The main roadblock in this deal is a huge salary disparity, with Lawson making $12.4 million this season as opposed to the $2.5 million from Burke, meaning there will have to be other players involved. No word as of yet who those additional names might be if the deal is to go through.
Lawson's contract is non-guaranteed, however, so if the currently 8th-seeded Jazz feel they are a veteran guard away from making a run and are ready to give up on Burke, it could be a gamble worth taking for them.
If the Rockets pull this trade off, it would have to be considered a success. While Burke isn't the sharpshooter or the lockdown defender this Rockets team would appear to need, he does come with a fair amount of potential, and securing a cheaper, young, athletic guard with upside in exchange for a player that was giving Houston next to nothing would go down as a win in Daryl Morey's book.
Burke's contract also holds a team option for 2016-2017 for $3.3 million, meaning he'd have a full year audition with the Rockets at a reasonable salary as the team tries to remake their chemistry around James Harden.
In other news, the Rockets have also stepped up their efforts to trade Dwight Howard, with their overtures being characterized as "ultra-aggressive" by ESPN's Marc Stein.
The Houston Rockets are "ultra-aggressive" in their pursuit to trade Dwight Howard. (Via Marc Stein - ESPN)— NBA Flash News (@NBAFLASHNEWS) February 17, 2016
It looks like Morey is making every effort to make good on his promise of making changes until the Rockets get it right, and attempting to move Lawson's dead weight and stepping up the efforts to get something in return for Howard before he leaves in the summer is certainly an encouraging development.