The Houston Rockets spent most of the NBA trade deadline trying to find deals for Ty Lawson and Dwight Howard. The Rockets were in talks with several teams and appeared to be on the verge of a contract getting complete at one point. However, both players remained on the team, but for how long?
The Rockets are exploring the idea of releasing Lawson in the near future, according to Calvin Watkins of ESPN.com. It would not be a shock if the Rockets moved on from Lawson. They acquired him prior to the season starting with the hope that he would be a needed playmaker for the team. Instead, he lost the starting job to Patrick Beverley and playing time to Jason Terry. The Rockets like the veteran leadership that Terry brings, and since Lawson's numbers continue to dip, the Rockets could aim to move on.
After no trade deals were found for Lawson, the Rockets stressed their confidence in Lawson. The point guard is averaging career lows this year and playing time has been slim. However, interim head coach JB Bickerstaff told the Houston Chronicle that he believed Lawson could be a productive member of the team and find his place on the court.
"We've had conversations with him, but we have to give him an opportunities," Rockets interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff said, via The Houston Chronicle. "He's got to play. He's got to play with the ball in his hands. That's when he's at his best. We have to put him on the floor and we have to put the ball in his hands. We have to give him space, we have to give him confidence."
That stance has changed for Houston. The team is sitting in the eighth spot in the Western Conference right now. They cannot afford to slip. The team has options if they opt to move on from Lawson. Shooters like Kevin Martin are about to be available. The Minnesota Timberwolves and Martin are progressing towards a contract buyout, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com. If Lawson goes, Martin could be a solid replacement.
The Rockets are trying to get the right chemistry on the court to drive in the wins. They are now starting Josh Smith while hoping that Dwight Howard and James Harden can co-exist together. Lawson was not helping the cause, and now the team could move on from him.