Kings guard Ty Lawson will meet with team officials to explain why he missed Friday’s flight from Las Vegas to Lexington, Ky., and missed Saturday’s preseason win over the Washington Wizards, sources confirmed, forcing the team to decide if they want to move forward with the talented guard, who has had his problems off the court.
Lawson also was late to Thursday morning’s shootaround prior to the Kings’ game against the Los Angeles Lakers in Las Vegas.
Kings general manager Vlade Divac did not return a message seeking comment. The official reason the team gave for Lawson’s absence Saturday was “personal reasons.”
Lawson appeared to be a lock to make the Kings’ roster and has played well in the preseason. Coach Dave Joerger has praised his speed and leadership. But Lawson’s non-guaranteed deal also means the Kings can cut ties with him without any financial implications.
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The Kings have to decide if Lawson’s reasons for being late Thursday and missing the flight Friday are not indiscretions worthy of cutting ties.
Lawson was signed to a non-guaranteed contract in August – as insurance with Darren Collison facing a suspension after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor domestic assault charge. Lawson was available due in part to recent issues including four driving under the influence arrests, two coming in 2015 and after a down 2015-16 season.
Collison is suspended for the first eight games of the season.
The off-court issues were part of the reason the Kings were not eager to trade for Lawson last season.
The Kings opted to sign Rajon Rondo to a one-year deal instead. Rondo signed with Chicago in July.
Lawson was traded to Houston and then released in March. He finished last season with Indiana. Lawson admitted he struggled with his confidence last season but was ready to move on.
“Sometimes, an experience, you have to grow from it,” Lawson said last month at media day, prior to training camp. “I think I’ve grown a lot and I’m just ready to move forward. I heard a GM said, ‘I think he lost a step. He can’t shoot anymore.’ I’ve got a lot to prove and I got a chip on my shoulder to prove it.”
The Kings also have veteran point guard Jordan Farmar in training camp on a non-guaranteed deal and rookie Isaiah Cousins. Farmar played for Joerger last season in Memphis. Joeger also plans to use swingman Garrett Temple as a point guard, too.
Cousins was a second-round pick in June’s draft and has a partially guaranteed contract.