Player Projection: Ty Lawson

by Jon Nichols

In my last projection I took a look at Tyler Hansbrough.  Today I’ll be projecting another Tar Heel, Ty Lawson, using my Box Score Prediction System (explanation here: ).

As UNC prepares to play for the national championship tonight, Lawson has become the leader of a team full of talent.  Not only is he the leader, but he’s been the best player over the last few games as well.  His play is solid on both ends and he can be a nightmare to guard once he gets going at full speed.  He’s also developed a great outside shot that keeps his defenders honest. 

Still, Lawson has never produced overwhelming numbers.  Part of the reason for that is all the talent surrounding him.  North Carolina is a far from a one-man show; it is a team full of talent.  It wouldn’t make sense for Lawson to try to take over games, and he doesn’t try to. 

With that being said, what does BSPS think of Lawson’s future NBA career?  Let’s take a look at his projected NBA stats per 36 minutes:

Those numbers appear to be those of a good but not great point guard.  In fact, they are comparable to the per 36 minute stats of Will Bynum, although with more three-point shooting and less turnovers. 

Those last two areas I just mentioned will be the key to Lawson’s potential success in the NBA.  It’s very likely he won’t be a star.  However, if he can keep developing his three-point shot like he’s done this season with the Tar Heels, and if he can be a good caretaker of the ball, he’ll be a great bench player or decent starter.  As his career progresses, Lawson should try to mimic the game of Chauncey Billups.  He’s obviously much faster than Billups, but I think he has the potential to become an efficient floor general.  In addition, he’s a bit short, but his quickness and strength could become big enough assets to make him a solid contributor on the defensive end. 

Lawson may go in the lottery because of UNC’s tournament success.  If his last few games are representative of how he’ll play for the rest of his career, he’s worth it. 

However, if not, he would be a solid late first-rounder.  A great team like the Celtics that could use a backup point guard could do worse than Lawson. 






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