After an early playoff exit, the Los Angeles Lakers are moving toward a crucial offseason. The Lakers will be quite busy revamping the roster to construct another title contender. Those efforts have already guided Los Angeles into the picture to possibly acquire a promising backcourt talent to replace Dennis Schroder.
Lakers fall well short of a second straight NBA title
The Lakers entered the 2020-21 season eyeing an opportunity to compete for another NBA title.
However, the short offseason quickly led to injuries piling up, resulting in Anthony Davis suffering a calf injury related to an Achilles’ tendon issue. It forced him to miss two months of the season while LeBron James went down with a right high ankle sprain that sidelined him for more than six weeks.
The two stars returned before the playoffs, but neither fully recovered, leading to a first-round exit at the hands of the Phoenix Suns. Before the offseason begins, the Lakers may have thrown themselves into the mix to acquire a rising star talent.
Lakers may replace Dennis Schroder with a former first-round pick
The Lakers are headed toward an offseason with many expected roster changes ahead to reconstruct a championship-contending team.
Los Angeles will explore various options to improve the backcourt after the supporting cast failed to lift it forward following injuries to Davis and James. Longtime NBA reporter Sam Amico of Hoops Wire recently reported the Lakers might dive into exploring a trade for Collin Sexton.
“Per Hoops Wire sources, the [Miami] Heat, [New York] Knicks, [New Orleans] Pelicans, [Indiana] Pacers, [Oklahoma City] Thunder, and Lakers are among the teams evaluating a trade for Sexton,” Amico wrote.
The Cavaliers are looking to shake up the roster, likely parting ways with Sexton and Kevin Love this upcoming offseason. The 22-year-old is coming off a highly productive season in which he averaged a career-best 24.3 points on a career-high 47.5% shooting from the floor and 37.1% from 3-point range.
Sexton has mainly become a scoring guard who can create his shot while playmaking as a passer when necessary. The No. 8 overall pick of the 2018 NBA Draft could be an appealing option due to his inexpensive contract as he’s entering the final year of his four-year, $20.1 million deal and will make $6.3 million next season. He also holds an $8.5 million qualifying offer for the 2022-23 season that would make him a restricted free agent the following year.
The Alabama product is currently eligible for a five-year, $168 million rookie extension, but it’s hard to imagine the Lakers shelling out that type of money if he’s acquired. Any move to land Sexton would be a one-year experiment to see if he can be a long-term fit alongside Davis.
If Los Angeles lands Sexton, it would likely spell the end of Dennis Schroder’s tenure. The two play much of the same role as score-first guards. Ultimately, it’s a situation Los Angeles will continue to monitor.
Front office will explore all offseason options
The front office holds several different opportunities to upgrade the backcourt.
Los Angeles could re-sign Dennis Schroder, but his desired salary range (between $100 and $120 million) may be too high. Meanwhile, the team may explore the sign-and-trade market to acquire Kyle Lowry or Spencer Dinwiddie.
Chatter concerning interest in Damian Lillard will float around, but until the star guard voices he wants to join the Lakers, it remains a pipedream. The team may attempt to pry Chris Paul away from the Suns, but he will likely re-sign. Lillard is the preferred choice, but an opportunity to snag him lies out of the franchise’s hands.
The Lakers want to build a strong supporting cast around their stars, and a big-splash move would fit that bill. Ultimately, time will tell what lies ahead this upcoming offseason.
Contract figures courtesy of Spotrac.