Before the trade deadline last week, the LA Lakers were involved in serious trade discussions. All of which centered on possibly acquiring star point guard Kyle Lowry. The Lakers ultimately chose against going that route, but it may have created a massive problem ahead for the franchise.
Lakers elect to not trade for Kyle Lowry
In the days before the trade deadline, the chatter around the Lakers began to heat up.
Reports surfaced that LA held a significant interest in making a trade for All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry. The talks picked up much steam in the hours ahead of Thursday’s trade deadline as the Lakers, and the Miami Heat were the two likely destinations.
However, Lowry wound up staying put with the Toronto Raptors as both the Lakers and Heat chose against giving up young promising talent. LA had no desire to include Talen Horton-Tucker into any trade offer but did make both Dennis Schroder and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope centerpieces in a proposed deal.
Although the Lakers didn’t wind up pulling the trigger on the move, they may have created an enormous problem ahead.
Lakers may have a looming massive problem that could alter their future plans
The Lakers’ decision to pass on trading for Kyle Lowry may mean much more than retaining second-year forward Talen Horton-Tucker.
It appears to have a significant impact on Dennis Schroder’s outlook concerning his long-term future in LA. Following last Thursday’s game, Schroder emphasized his desire to remain with the team but stated that he also wants to explore his options. (H/T Ryan Ward of Lakers Nation)
“It’s a crazy business,” Schroder said. “End of the day, I wanna play my season out. And I think, and I said I want to see my options. I want to be a Laker, but I want to see my options. After eight years, It’s my first time seeing what other clubs have interest in me.
“That’s what I said too, but nobody mentioned that in the media. Everybody is saying that I just want to sign long-term with the Lakers. At the end of the day, that’s my last word on that. I want to see my options, but I want to be a Laker.”
As Schroder pointed out, it will mark the first time he will explore the open market. It’s an opportunity that he’s never had in his career, and he wants to get the whole experience of free agency.
He also reiterated that he wants to remain with the Lakers for the long haul. At the same time, another team could swoop in to snag him if the situation appeals to him.
Before the trade deadline, LA knew that they would have to unload north of $20 million annually to keep Schroder. Recent reports from The Athletic suggest that the two sides are far apart in extension talks. That will likely remain the case due to his desire to venture into free agency.
If anything, his involvement in the trade rumors only further opened the door to him wanting to explore the open market this upcoming summer.
Focus remains on NBA title push
The Lakers have several questions to answer this upcoming offseason, but their focus remains on their push for another NBA title.
The path hasn’t been smooth by any means, with both Anthony Davis and LeBron James still on the mend. LA recently acquired a much-needed boost by adding two-time All-Star Andre Drummond that brings a substantial frontcourt piece to the mix.
Drummond could provide the team with a proven frontcourt presence that has excelled as a rim protector and rebounding. The Lakers also remain quite hopeful that both Davis and James can return to help guide the team toward a deep playoff run.
Ultimately, time will tell if the Lakers can return to full strength for another title push.