The Los Angeles Lakers have some work to do ahead of the 2020-21 season as they will need to round out their roster around LeBron James and presumably Anthony Davis.
The likes of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Dwight Howard, Avery Bradley and Rajon Rondo are free agents after each elected to decline their player option. All were useful rotation players throughout the year, but retaining the majority of them will be a challenge given the Lakers’ salary cap limitations.
General manager Rob Pelinka addressed one potential area of need when he trade a deal to acquire Dennis Schroder from the Oklahoma City Thunder. Pelinka has been eyeing Schroder for some time, and he finally landed the talented guard.
In an interview with Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, Davis was complimentary of the move:
“It’s a great pick up. Schroder alongside LeBron and other guys they decide to offer or whatever, I think it’s a good pick up. Like you said, he easily could win Sixth Man of the Year any given year. Played great alongside CP and Shai. I think he’s tough, he shot the ball well this year, he can get in the paint, he can find guys and he’s very, very scrappy. I think it was a good move and pick up for the Los Angeles Lakers.”
The front office made the trade under the belief that Rondo would leave the Lakers in free agency, and it is a good deal considering what guard options are available in the market. Schroder provides good scoring punch and can facilitate the offense whenever LeBron James heads to the bench.
Schroder is also only 27 years old, meaning he fits with Davis’ timeline and gives Los Angeles even more reason to try to sign him to a long-term deal. He is coming off the best year of his career and it is reasonable to think that he can still improve as a player.
How Schroder will look alongside Davis
While not the same playmaker as Rondo, Schroder still has the ability to make reads out of the pick-and-roll and gets to partner with arguably the league’s most dangerous roll threat in Davis.
Schroder’s outside shooting will also open the floor up for the offense and give Davis more room to operate around the painted area. Defensively, Schroder is a bit undersized but Davis’ all-world athleticism and physical tools will help cover any mistakes.
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