The Denver Nuggets are watching the 2014 NBA Playoffs from home. While there are 13 other teams in the league that are doing the very same, it’s surprising that the Nuggets are among them given the fact that they entered the postseason last year as the three-seed in the Western Conference. Sure, they were upset in the first round, but they were still a force on their way to the playoffs last year.
However, the Nuggets underwent a great deal of change this past offseason that ultimately resulted in a number of struggles. The loss of Andre Iguodala, the loss of former head coach George Karl, and the addition of a seemingly strange fit in head coach Brian Shaw all seemed to seal the Nuggets’ less-than-desirable fate this season.
Amidst their struggles, though, point guard Ty Lawson was able to put together an impressive performance this season, even with weathering a slew of injuries. In 62 games this season, Lawson put up 17.6 points, 8.8 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game. His efficiency numbers dipped a bit as he was asked to take a much larger role for Denver, but he still proved that he is a big-time performer.
However, there are some that believe that Lawson might not be as valuable as a player as the majority of people think that he is. The troubling part of that is that one of those people may be Shaw, his coach with the Nuggets.
On a number of occasions throughout the year and especially late in the season, Shaw expressed that he didn’t feel confident in any of his guards to take big shots or carry this team down the stretch. Perhaps this is a bit of an overreaction, but that would be like a slap in the face to me if I were Lawson.
Though Lawson still has three more years remaining on his current contract and won’t become a free agent until the summer of 2017, I think he has to beg the Nuggets front office for a trade this offseason.
Lawson is one of the better point guards in this league right now, but it’s also clear that Shaw doesn’t seem to respect or realize that. With the Nuggets expected to clean house this summer in regards to their roster, now would be the perfect time for Lawson to try and land in a better situation where he can further shine and also be fully appreciated for what he brings to the table.
There’s no doubt that the Nuggets would benefit in the long term if Shaw would buy into what Lawson can bring this team and if Lawson stayed in Denver. In the interest of the point guard and given how things went this past season, though, Lawson’s best bet is almost surely to try and get out of Denver.