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Should the Kings re-sign Darren, Ty, neither, or both?

Nate Washburn

Should the Kings re-sign Darren, Ty, neither, or both?

Going into the 2016-17 season, the point guard position was easily the most talked about weakness in Sacramento’s lineup. Darren Collison was serving an 8-game league imposed suspension and Ty Lawson had a non-guaranteed minimum contract after basically flunking out of the NBA the previous year.

So what has happened since then?

Collison returned to the lineup and has been able to work himself back into the starting rotation. He is holding true to his career averages, scoring 12.5 points and handing out 4.2 assists this season. Not a bad year from a career average perspective, but the Kings were really hoping the seven-year NBA veteran would step up his game and be a more consistent scoring threat in the backcourt.

After DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay, the Kings have struggled to find that third scorer since the likes of Isaiah Thomas three seasons ago. Arron Afflalo has not panned out as a shooting guard who can actually shoot, and Ben McLemore is only on the team until he can be packaged in a trade. Current starter Garret Temple is more of a defensive wizard than one who can give you 16-18 points every night.

As a result, Darren has been forced into the role of a scoring point guard and has yet to show he is up to the task.

Lawson started the season as the emergency starting PG and held his own, but still struggled mightily to get his shot and quickly became an offensive liability. He just didn’t know how to function in Sacramento’s two-big man lineup as the paint was always clogged up. Talk started up that he might not be the right guy for the job and training camp invitee Jordan Farmar might have been a better fit.

However, once Collison was back in the starting lineup, things began to fall into place for Lawson. Darren worked well with Cousins and Gay, while Ty thrived on the spacing and open lanes in the paint provided by the smaller second team. His ability to drive and kick caused headaches for the opponent and his pullup jumpers began falling again.

While far off his career numbers of 12.7 points and six assists as a starter, Lawson has quickly evolved as one of the league’s best backup PGs this season. Averaging 8.7 points, 4.2 assists, and 2.7 rebounds, the super-speedy floor leader has become a force once again. there is basically no drop-off at the PG spot when he enters the game.

And that’s the issue. Sacramento has two really really good backup point guards in a league where PGs rule the court. Both will be unrestricted free-agents this summer and the team will have a very tough decision to make. Do they re-sign just one, both, or neither?

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