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NBA Buyout Report: Houston Waiving Potential Clipper Targets Lawson, Thornton

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Houston could buyout out two significant names.

Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

Normally, we only hear about older players during buyout season--David Lee, Joe Johnson, Anderson Varejao, Kevin Martin, etc.  However, Houston is reportedly parting ways with two players that were involved in trade talks at the deadline and couldn't be moved--Ty Lawson and Marcus Thornton.  Both are severely flawed players, but they both have the potential to help good teams off of the bench.

Lawson is one of the more troubled players in the NBA presently.  After being a young stud starting PG in Denver from 2012-2015, he had major off-court issues, including reported alcoholism and some unfortunate TMZ moments, that led to his departure from the Nuggets.  The Rockets bought low, trading basically nothing back to Denver, but the deal hasn't worked out for them, as Lawson has been abysmal in Houston this season.  For the Clippers or any other potential landing spot, Lawson would be a gamble--his floor is out-of-the-league bad, but if the ability to be a star is still in there, he'd be a HUGE addition to any team in the playoff hunt.  The Clippers specifically could use some guard depth, with 38-year-old Pablo Prigioni (who was replaced by Lawson in Houston) serving as their only true backup point guard, with Austin Rivers currently out with a broken hand.  I'm not a huge fan of the pick up, as Prigioni has been playing well, Lawson is really undersized, and the Clippers don't need another high-volume, low-efficiency player, but if they can't find a quality shooter, taking a gamble on Lawson wouldn't be the worst idea should Houston reach a buy-out agreement with him.

Thornton was involved in a trade-deadline deal that would have sent him to Detroit, but after the deal was voided by the Pistons due to Donatas Motiejunas' back injuries, the team has now already officially bought him out and he is currently waiting to clear waivers.  From the Clippers' perspective, Thornton is an iffy pick-up--he's yet another 6'4" guard and he shoots under 34% from deep and only 40% from the field, which is really not great.  It's hard to see where any newcomer finds minutes at SG, where the Clippers already have J.J. Redick, Jamal Crawford, and Austin Rivers deeply entrenched in the rotation.  I'd prefer for the Clippers to look at players with higher upside as spot-up shooters to complement the current core, but Thornton has the potential to contribute off of the bench as a scorer.