Lakers offseason
Photo Credit: ClutchPoints

Lakers Offseason 2020: Lakers Acquire Dennis Schroder

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The Los Angeles Lakers’ 2020/2021 roster will be different from the one that claimed the 2019/2020 NBA world championship.

 

Lakers offseason
Photo Credit: Lakers Daily

On Sunday afternoon, the world champion Los Angeles Lakers reached an agreement with the Oklahoma City Thunder to acquire guard Dennis Schroder for guard Danny Green and the 28th pick in Wednesday’s NBA draft. ESPN NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski was first with the trade news. Woj also broke down the new NBA League year, which kicks off Monday when trades can be announced. The Lakers and Thunder trade won’t be announced until after the 28th pick in the draft, so the Lakers can select the player the Thunder wants to draft.

Los Angeles cannot outright send the draft pick to Oklahoma City because a rule restricts teams from trading first-round picks in consecutive years. Los Angeles sent the No. 4 overall pick in the 2019 draft to the New Orleans Pelicans as part of the Anthony Davis trade. The Thunder already own the 25th pick in Wednesday’s draft.

The Lakers will get a quality guard that can play either guard spot. The 27-year-old Schroder is a versatile, impactful guard, capable of making plays for himself and others. He appeared in 65 regular-season games for Oklahoma City last season. He averaged 18.9 points and shot a career-best 46.9% from the field and 38.5% on 3-pointers in 2019-20. The veteran from Germany is headed into his contract’s final year and will be paid $15.5 million. Thanks to his solid play off the bench, Schroder was the runner-up for the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award, which was won by Clippers’ big man Montrezl Harrell.

The Lakers hope to work out a long-term deal with him to keep him in Los Angeles after the trade is official.

 

The deal is a strong indicator that the Lakers are adamant about strengthening their roster and not running their title defense back with the same players.

 

Photo Credit: ClutchPoints

The expectation is that Lakers’ vice president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka will continue to look for roster improvements through trades and free agency. This deal is also a possible sign that the Lakers will lose guard Rajon Rondo in free agency. Schroder’s addition would soften the blow should that occur, as Schroder could fill a similar role to the one that Rondo filled. The Lakers‘ interest in Schroder isn’t necessarily new, as the team also looked into trading for him before the NBA trade deadline in February.

According to Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated, the Lakers had also explored a deal for Milwaukee Bucks guard Eric Bledsoe. However, by acquiring Schroder, their interest in Bledsoe would be eliminated.

Danny Green, 33, started in all 68 regular-season games in which he appeared, averaging 8.0 points and 3.3 rebounds while shooting 36.7% from beyond the arc. The three-time champion started in all 21 of the Lakers postseason games, where he again averaged 8.0 points, though his 3-point shooting decreased to 33.9%. He, too, will be a free agent following the 2020-21 season. He fell out of favor with fans after a poor playoff performance, but Green was a vital member of this Laker team who played his role well and helped them throughout the regular and postseason.

 

The Lakers second unit will have a very different look this season.

 

Lakers offseason
Photo Credit: ClutchPoints

The second unit will look much different with Schroder handling the controls. Rondo is a pass-first point guard. Alex Caruso and Kyle Kuzma got the vast majority of their buckets running ahead in transition. Rondo also had wink-wink chemistry with Anthony Davis.

Schroder is much different. He is a score-first point guard who likes to probe the defense for the ideal shot. He will have to learn how to look for AD posting up in transition. Caruso and Kuzma will have to learn how to adjust their timing when cutting to the basket while playing off Schroder. Each point guard is unique in how they see the court.

When Schroder looks to score, the SchroderAD pick-and-roll has some potential as a secondary offensive fulcrum. Look at Schroder expertly attacking Houston’s defense amid cramped spacing.

 

By trading for Dennis Schroder the Lakers have made it clear to the NBA that they won’t just try to “run it back” in defense of their title next season. The entire NBA chasing the defending champions. And Sunday, the Lakers got themselves a head start by acting first.

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-Joe Arrigo – Franchise Sports Media

Follow Joe Arrigo on Twitter @JoeArrigo

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