NBA

The Lakers Adding Dennis Schroder Signals Much More Than It Looks

The LA Lakers are coming off an impressive run toward a championship, but their attention has quickly shifted toward the offseason. The Lakers are in a prime position to contend for a second straight NBA title, which ramps up the need to improve the roster. The front office has wasted little time adding another high-impact piece with Dennis Schroder to the mix.

Lakers win 17th NBA title

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The Lakers reached the pinnacle of success this past season by securing their 17th NBA title and first in the last decade.

LA put forth an impressive run through the playoffs led by stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis with no series going more than six games. The team was led by a strong veteran presence that guided them smoothly through the postseason.

The Lakers have quickly shifted gears toward the offseason as the focus will be on putting together a roster that can successful defend their NBA title. The front office is in line to make their first significant move of the offseason ahead of the 2020 NBA draft.

Lakers acquire Dennis Schroder from the Thunder

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In the days leading up to the 2020 NBA draft, there continued to chatter around the LA Lakers.

The Lakers had a few trade scenarios floated around, which led to the team pulling the trigger on trading for point guard Dennis Schroder in exchange for the 28th overall pick in this year’s draft and guard Danny Green, according to Sham Charania of The Athletic.

Schroder is coming off an impressive campaign with the Thunder as he averaged 18.9 points and 4.0 assists while shooting career highs of 46.9% from the floor and 38.5% from 3-point range. His play helped him finish just short of earning the Sixth Man of the Year award as he was critical to the team’s success toward earning a playoff berth.

The inclusion of Danny Green in the deal puts a nearly identical swap of salaries for next season as he’s making $15.3 million while Schroder will earn $15.5 million. Each player is in the final year of their respective deals.

Green put together a lone solid season with the Lakers as he proved to be a vital defensive asset. He struggled with 3-point shooting in the playoffs, but his presence on the floor outside of that was essential to the team’s success.

What does the move mean moving forward?

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The immediate reaction to the pending move pushes the focus toward the rest of the backcourt situation in LA.

Schroder’s addition puts another ball-handling point guard in the mix that will heavily impact the Lakers’ free agency approach. According to Marc Stein of The New York Times, LA may have gone this route due to the expectations that Rajon Rondo is more than likely to draw a more lucrative contract than the team can afford.

The early reports suggested that the LA Clippers expressed some significant interest in the two-time NBA champion. Some other teams may be in the mix to add the proven veteran point guard.

The transaction may be another signal to Avery Bradley, who has a $5 million player option for next season, that his role will be quite limited. The Lakers also have Alex Caruso, who proved to be a pivotal backcourt piece in the regular season and playoffs.

LA still holds some salary-cap space and a need to address their shooting guard position. The team still wants to bring back Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, while Stein is also reporting that the Lakers are interested in signing veteran guard Wesley Matthews. 

There is likely much movement ahead in LA to continue put a championship-caliber team together for next season.