The Jazz open the post-All Star break in Washington Thursday night, just a few hours after the NBA's trading deadline. That's why it's uncertain who shows up as Utah's backup point guard.
Utah is exploring whether to swap former lottery pick Trey Burke for Houston Rockets guard Ty Lawson, ESPN's Marc Stein reported.
One interesting wrinkle with the trade involves the Western Conference standings. The Jazz (26-26) and Rockets (27-28) are eighth and ninth respectively. The top eight teams qualify for the playoffs.
Credit the Jazz for assembling a impressive roster of young talent, headlined by Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors. One area they've yet to fill in recent years, a veteran floor leader. Lawson, 28, qualifies though he's in the midst of his worst professional career.
Acquired from Denver after a tumultuous personal stretch, the Clinton, Maryland native simply hasn't fit in with Houston as reflected with his average of 6.2 points on 39.2 percent shooting. Both of those numbers would represent career-lows and his 3.6 assists isn't far off. The NBA suspended Lawson twice for separate DWI arrests last year.
Considering his previous seasons -- he averaged 15.2 points and 9.6 assists last year --, adding Lawson would define risk-reward. From a salary standpoint, not so risky as Lawson previously agreed that his $13.2 million deal for the 2016-17 season would be non-guaranteed as part of the deal to Houston.
Burke, Utah's fifth leading scorer (11.8) plays behind starter Raul Neto.
If a deal is made, it's possible neither guard is available depending on when the players can take physicals.
UPDATE (Thurs. 1:15 p.m.): It looks like the Wizards will not be facing Lawson on Thursday after all as the talks between Houston and Utah have died.
Sources: Rockets, Jazz had casual talks on Ty Lawson, but those ended. Both teams moved on. Another thing: Rockets won't buy out Lawson.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) February 18, 2016
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