Rockets send Nick Johnson to Denver in deal for Ty Lawson

Nick Johnson played in 28 games for the Rockets as a rookie, averaging 2.6 points per game.

Troy Taormina/Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

HOUSTON — Former University of Arizona guard Nick Johnson has been traded from the Houston Rockets to the Denver Nuggets as part of a deal that sends point guard Ty Lawson to Houston.

The Nuggets will also get a lottery protected first-round pick in 2016, Kostas Papanikolaou, Pablo Prigioni and Joey Dorsey, while Houston gets a future second-round pick from Denver.

Lawson would give the Rockets needed depth at point guard with Patrick Beverley, but he is currently dealing with off-the-court issues. He entered a 30-day residential treatment program for alcohol last week after his second DUI arrest.

Lawson was a first-round pick by the Timberwolves in 2009 before being traded to the Nuggets that day. He’s averaged 14.2 points and 6.6 assists in his six-year career with Denver. The 27-year-old started a career-high 75 games last season and averaged 15.2 points and a career-best 9.6 assists.

Johnson, a second-round pick in 2014 after being named the Pac-12 Conference Player of the year, averaged 2.6 points per game in 28 games for the Rockets while also spending time in the Developmental League.

None of the four players the Rockets gave up were key members of last year’s squad that reached the Western Conference finals before being eliminated by Golden State. Papanikolaou averaged 4.2 points in 43 games in the regular season, while the 38-year-old Prigioni backed up Jason Terry late in the season after Beverley suffered a season-ending injury.

The deal was first reported by Yahoo Sports.