Before the Los Angeles Lakers were active in free agency, their first offseason addition was completing a trade to acquire Dennis Schroder from the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Danny Green and No. 28 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, Jaden McDaniels.
Schroder, who comes off arguably his best NBA season to date, appears to be a great match for the Lakers. The quick and agile guard averaged 18.9 points — most among bench players in the league — shot 38.5% from deep, and noticeably improved his defense during the previous campaign.
Schroder could be a significant backcourt upgrade for L.A., who did not have a player of his kind when they claimed their 17th NBA title in the Orlando bubble. His arrival is all the more important — and reportedly driven by — the departure of Rajon Rondo.
However, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said on “The Lowe Post” the trade for Schroder was not only a knee-jerk reaction to the expected loss of Rondo in free agency.
Instead, the Lakers reportedly scouted the Thunder ace for a while, with LeBron James himself giving the guard his sign of approval:
“They almost traded for him at the deadline in 2019 and didn’t. There’s been a lot of interest there for a while. … LeBron really likes his game. LeBron has wanted to play with him for a while. Like I said, they almost traded for him before.”
Schroder presumably will lead a bench unit that also features reigning Sixth Man of the Year Montrezl Harrell, who signed a two-year contract with the Lakers. Schroder finished second in voting for the Sixth Man of the Year Award.
Lakers gauging Kuzma’s market value
The Lakers have reportedly held trade talks involving Kyle Kuzma, although only to determine potential interest in the market for the 25-year-old forward.
Kuzma’s value is said not to be substantial due to his contract situation and the secondary role he played for the Lakers last season. Both sides could also work on a contract extension, although Kuzma is believed to be hoping for a “sizable” deal.
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