Despite the Boston Celtics’ apparent desire to sell off any players with long-term money tied up in their contracts, the team has reportedly shown interest in at least one All-Star caliber guard.
The Celtics have had “exploratory talks” with the Denver Nuggets about point guard Ty Lawson, Grantland’s Zach Lowe wrote Monday, citing unnamed sources. Denver is expected to be active prior to Thursday’s NBA trade deadline, but Nuggets general manager Tim Connelly won’t give away Lawson for a song.
“The sense around the league is that you could land Lawson or Faried with a Godfather offer,” Lowe writes. “They are gettable. Boston and Denver have had exploratory talks about Lawson, per several sources.”
Lawson, 27, is averaging 16.9 points and 10.1 assists per game this season, his sixth as a pro. He is in the second season of a four-year, $48 million contract extension that has more than $25 million remaining after this season. That’s not an unreasonable number for a player of Lawson’s caliber, but Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge hasn’t shown a desire to pay an eight-figure salary to anyone short of a transformative star, which Lawson is not.
Although Lawson has never cracked an All-Star team in the guard-stacked Western Conference, he is a proven floor general capable of getting to the rim and creating scoring opportunities for teammates. The biggest drawback to the Celtics acquiring him would be the possibility of stunting rookie Marcus Smart’s development, though Smart has played off the ball recently with some success.
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