The 25-year-old fast bowler was held at Dubai airport on Sunday while returning home from Indian Premier League and appeared before a prosecutor on Thursday.
"It's unfortunate and would be disruptive for Asif," said former Australia Test bowler Lawson, dealing with the latest in a series of controversies to hit the troubled Pakistani team.
"Personally I don't know the facts, we feel for him, we hope it turns out well for him. We have been thinking about him," said Lawson on Thursday.
"He has been missing quite often due to injury but was making a successful comeback from injury and played against Bangladesh in April and the tri-series would have been one more step on his way back to full form."
Asif was named in the 16-man Pakistan squad for next week's tri-series in Bangladesh, which also features India, but was dropped and replaced by Sohail Khan on Wednesday.
Pakistan fly out to Dhaka on Friday but Pakistan Cricket Board officials say Asif will remain in detention at least until Sunday.
Lawson said Sohail had shown promise recently.
"Sohail has come in Asif's place and has shown promise so one person's misfortune is another's good fortune," said Lawson, who took over as Pakistan coach in July last year.
Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik also hoped Asif's absence would not be felt.
"There is no doubt that Asif is a good bowler but we have other good bowlers who can step up and take their chances. We have Umar Gul, Sohail Tanveer, Rao Iftikhar and Sohail so the attack is in good hands," said Malik.
The Pakistani captain said his team is capable of putting up a good show in the tri-series.
"It is a good event and we will face tough competition from India who have been doing well. So if we play the final of the tri-series in Bangladesh then it would give us a good boost for the Asia Cup," said Malik.
Pakistan open the tri-series against Bangladesh on Sunday. They play India two days later, while India play Bangladesh on June 12. The final is in June 14.
Pakistan are due to host the eight-nation Asia Cup from June 24 to July 6.
Malik hoped his team would keep up their run of 11 victories attained earlier this year. Pakistan won the last match against India in their 2-3 defeat in November last year.
They then blanked Zimbabwe and Bangladesh 5-0 earlier this year.
"We have been on a winning streak so it would be important to have that going because if a team makes winning its habit then no event is difficult for them," Malik said.