It seems Ty Lawson got his wish – sort of. The embattled point guard is headed to Texas after the Denver Nuggets reportedly traded him Sunday night, less than a week after his second suspicion of DUI arrest in less than six months. But Lawson isn’t headed to Dallas, as he “wished” back in April.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, Lawson is going to Houston along with a 2017 second-round draft pick in exchange for four players and a lottery-protected first round pick. The deal brings to a close six long months of struggles between Lawson and the franchise.
In return for their number one pick in 2009 and the draft pick, the Nuggets will receive Kostas Papanikolaou, Pablo Prigioni, Joey Dorsey, Nick Johnson and a lottery-protected 2016 first-round draft pick.
Papanikolaou, a 6-foot-8 235-pound forward, played 43 games for Houston last year, averaging 18.5 minutes and 4.2 points per game.
Prigioni has 211 NBA games under his belt, mostly with the New York Knicks. The 6-foot-3 Argentine-Italian point guard was the oldest rookie in NBA history at the age of 35 when he made his debut in 2012. He has averaged 3.8 points and 3 assists per game in his career, which includes 24 games with Houston.
Dorsey, a 2008 draft pick of the Portland Trail Blazers, has played parts of five seasons for Houston, Sacramento and Toronto. The 6-foot-9 center posted a career high in games played in 2014-15 with 69 for Houston, averaging 11.4 minutes per game.
Johnson, a 6-foot-3 shooting guard, was a second round draft pick in 2014 by Houston. He played in 28 games last year for the Rockets.
According to Wojnarowski, timing was everything in this deal.
Part of the urgency of getting a deal done on Sunday was the need to include Prigioni in the trade before Monday’s deadline to guarantee his $1.6 million salary for the 2015-16 season. Denver plans to trade or waive Prigioni in the next 24 hours, league sources said. Prigioni will be owed $440,000 if waived on Monday.
It appears unlikely that Denver will look too closely at anyone in the trade other than Johnson, who may get to compete for a wide-open guard position. Papanikolaou and Dorsey find themselves in tough competition at their respective positions, especially Papanikolaou who carries a team option for 2015-16.