Ty Lawson has reaffirmed his immediate commitment to the Houston Rockets amid speculation that the former Nuggets guard and the Texas franchise engaged in possible contract buyout talks recently.
The 28-year-old arrived in Houston during the summer of 2015 as part of a trade that saw the southwest division franchise send Denver four players, cash considerations and a 2016 first-round draft pick in exchange for their star point guard and a 2017 second-round draft pick.
At the time, it was a trade that made the world of sense. The Rockets needed a dish happy point guard to bring out the best in James Harden and Dwight Howard and it seemed a big three was forming at the Toyota Center.
However, it hasn't quite turned out the way many people might have imagined.
Patrick Beverley has been the main resident at the one spot in an indifferent season for the Rockets and Lawson's numbers have plummeted below their usual, impressive norm.
However, Lawson told Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle he is keen to focus on the bigger picture, and the Maryland-born star believes Houston is the right city for him.
"I’m just happy here,” Lawson confirmed. “My role, I’m going to keep playing hard every day. I’d rather stay here.
“Hoping things turn around, we get into the playoffs and make things happen. Up and downs, it’s a little frustrating there’s always some types of talks. I’m glad to be here. Just going to play hard and see what happens. I like the city, I like my fans. I mean, I like my teammates. It’s a good fit. I want to be here.”
Much of Lawson's struggles have come as a result of being unable to gel with the ball-dominant Harden. The 18th pick in the 2011 draft averaged 35.5 minutes on the floor with the Nuggets last term, whereas he is seeing just 22.2 minutes in the red and white of Houston.
This has affected his production, too. After dropping an average of 15.2 buckets a night for Denver last term, he has only been able to net 5.4 this campaign.
His dime dropping has also declined from just a shade under 10 a night to 3.4.
Lawson could hit free agency this summer if the Rockets decide not to pick up the final year of his non-guaranteed contract.
His numbers this season won't do him many favours in what will be the most lucrative market ever, but he could still be an attractive prospect in the right set-up.
He's unlikely to command over $12m a year like he currently earns, but should he be willing to prove his worth and rebuild his reputation, he's bound to find suitors.
Of course, Lawson may yet go on to prove himself as a useful point-scorer to the Rockets as the season enters the business stretch. Time will tell.