- Associated Press - Monday, March 7, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Indiana is willing to bet on troubled point guard Ty Lawson getting his career back on track.

If he does, the Pacers could get a windfall payoff.

If he doesn’t, Lawson’s once-promising career could be over.

On Monday, Pacers president of basketball operations Larry Bird announced that Lawson had been signed to a contract. Terms of the deal were not immediately available.

Before Monday night’s game against San Antonio, Pacers coach Frank Vogel said he believes Lawson will feel at home in Indy.

“Every situation is different,” Vogel said. “(In Houston), they sort of give the ball to James Harden, so maybe that was not a good fit for that. Maybe he’ll be a better fit here.”

The Pacers were looking for a backup point guard, and Bird has always shown interest in Lawson. In fact, Lawson’s name had been linked to the Pacers in rumored trades long before the start of this season.

It’s not the first time Bird has made this type of move. Two years ago, Bird gambled on bringing in the oft-injured Andrew Bynum, who played only two games before re-injuring his knee.

Lawson comes to the Pacers (33-30) with a different set of questions. He was arrested twice last year on drunken-driving charges, once in Denver and once in Los Angeles, before being traded from Denver to Houston last summer.

Eleven games into the season, Lawson lost his starting job. His continued struggles prompted the Rockets to buy out his contract last week.

Now, in a new place, the 5-foot-11 Lawson is trying to clean up his public image.

“This is a good opportunity for me to come here, try to help the Pacers win and get into the playoffs,” Lawson said in a statement issued by the team. “I’m just ready to play and do whatever is needed.”

Lawson has averaged 13.3 points and 5.8 assists over his career and is expected to back up George Hill as Indiana makes a second-half playoff push.

Vogel said Lawson will likely play some minutes against the Spurs and that his playing time is likely to increase as he becomes more familiar with the offense and his teammates.

“I feel like this is a clean slate for him,” Vogel said. “I think he’ll come in and play well for us.”

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