James Harden recently spent some time with new teammate Ty Lawson and came away convinced that the point guard, who has completed a court-mandated stay in rehab, will be an asset for the Houston Rockets.
Harden, who is close with Lawson, told the Houston Chronicle that he "spent some time together" with Lawson "these last couple weeks" and he's "not at all" worried that the former Denver Nuggets guard's career will be derailed again due to his struggles with alcohol.
"He's more focused than ever. He has a great opportunity with a really good team to showcase his talents and help us with that push that we need," he told the newspaper, speaking Saturday from a basketball camp he was hosting.
Harden told the newspaper that Lawson "gives us that quickness, that speed, playmaking ability, something that we were missing, especially deep in the playoffs. We're going to welcome him with open arms. We're happy to have him."
Last month, a judge ordered Lawson to complete a 30-day stay in rehab after he was charged with DUI twice in a seven-month period, in Denver in January and in Los Angeles in July. He was traded by the Nuggets to the Rockets in July.
Whether Lawson will be available for the season opener is subject to debate. The NBA investigates all arrests of its players and normally doesn't administer punishment until after the court cases have been settled.
Lawson, 27, is due back in court on Aug. 20 in Denver. He was ordered to rehab with the condition that he wouldn't face charges until he completed his treatment.
ESPN.com's Calvin Watkins contributed to this report.