Coming into the season, Point Guard was a big area of need for the Kings following Rajon Rondo and Seth Curry’s departures during Free Agency. The Kings however did not address the Point Guard spot until late in the offseason, choosing to take a chance on Ty Lawson as a stopgap option. Both Lawson and Collison have had their moments this season, but the Kings’ future at the position is unclear as both players are set to be free agents this summer.
Our very own Blake Ellington interviewed Ty Lawson a couple of days ago, and in said interview, Lawson expressed his interest in returning to the Kings next season despite his status as an unrestricted free agent this summer. Lawson is having an excellent comeback season considering where he was as a player and person just last year. His numbers are up across the board, he’s passing the eye test with flying colors, and based on what we’ve been made aware of, he’s had no real issues off the court.
Darren Collison is having a similarly good season, but that is nothing new for anyone who has been watching him play during his tenure in Sacramento. He’s been good and somehow underrated from the moment the Kings signed him. Collison isn’t without his own off court problems he has seemingly recovered and moved on from, and I don’t like to bring these incidents up every time we talk about these guys, but in a post like this that will ultimately try to determine how much valuable each player has, it’s important to factor in. I’m sure other NBA teams are going to factor it in.
Both Collison and Lawson are good, not great. Both Collison and Lawson are unrestricted free agents at the end of the season. Both Collison and Lawson seem open to returning to Sacramento, and as we all know, the Kings have exactly zero point guards under contract for next season.
In a perfect world, the Kings aren’t starting either Collison or Lawson, despite how genuinely good they’ve been. I hate saying that because it sounds like I’m just regurgitating the narrative that the Kings have bad point guards, or guard play, because that really isn’t fair. Darren Collison and Ty Lawson have outplayed plenty of point guards this season, point guards a lot of people would value significantly higher than the Kings’ point guard crew, but I’d still be happy with some sort of an upgrade in the Kings’ starting lineup.
I’m just spitballing here, because that is what we do in the Morning Conversation, but my best case scenario involves something along the lines of a Goran Dragic acquisition with Collison or Lawson backing him up in 2017-18. You can replace Dragic with any other point guard of that caliber that miraculously becomes available between now and next season.
Things probably won’t shake out that way. The fact is, trading for a point guard that is an obvious upgrade to how Lawson and Collison are playing right now won’t come cheap. I think it’s far more likely the Kings do enter next season with one of those guys as the starting point guard simply because they couldn’t find anyone else, and I’m somewhat ok with that. At the very least, I can understand why the Kings would ultimately settle for Lawson or Collison. That upgrade is going to very hard to find.
That brings me to my real question this morning, what would you do with these guys? Both of them will probably have decent-to-low value on the trade market, and I think it’s possibly we see the Kings move one of them later this month, but I have a hard time seeing the Kings dealing away both of them, particularly if they are in striking distance of the 8th seed.
So what do you do? How much money are you comfortable dishing out to one or both of them? Who would you pick out of the two? How comfortable are you going into next season with one of them as the starting point guard?
I’m still leaning towards Darren Collison over Ty Lawson. You could make the argument that Lawson has outplayed Collison this season, although if he has, the gap is small. My preference to Collison is 100% rooted in the fact that I trust his talent more. As Lawson mentioned in his interview with Blake, so much of his game is confidence based, and he has it right now, but we saw what he looks like without it last season. Despite how good Lawson has been, I don’t know if I truly believe that he is this player now. It feels like that switch could flip back in an instant. Collison has more or less been the same guy for three seasons. I think it’s the safer bet.
The problem is, Collison probably has more value on the trade market, so the Kings would theoretically have to forgo whatever assets they could acquire at the deadline by trading him for an opportunity to sign him this summer. It’s a complicated situation, which, I think, makes it a fun conversation to have.
What would you do?