Even though the Los Angeles Lakers won the 2019-20 NBA championship, the 17th in franchise history, it doesn’t mean general manager Rob Pelinka will be complacent this offseason and not improve the roster.
The main focus for the Lakers will be re-signing star big man Anthony Davis, who is a free agent after presumably declining his player option but has given the team every indication that he will be back.
After re-signing Davis, Pelinka can focus on improving the rest of the roster, and he has some cap space as well as some trade assets to do so.
While trades cannot officially be made until next week, it appears that Pelinka is already on the verge of making his first deal as according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, they are in advanced talks to acquire guard Dennis Schroder from the Oklahoma City Thunder for Danny Green and the 28th pick in this year’s draft:
Lakers guard Danny Green and the No. 28 overall pick have been a focus of the trade discussions for Schroder, sources tell ESPN. https://t.co/KOAcjyIked
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 15, 2020
The deal is not official yet but has been agreed to and presumably will be completed after the Lakers make the draft selection on behalf of the Thunder, via Shams Charania of The Athletic
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 15, 2020
Schroder is a solid addition for the Lakers, who lacked backcourt depth last season, especially guards that can score as well as create shots for others.
The 27-year-old is entering the final year of a four-year, $70 million contract, so he will make a little more than the $15 million Green is making in 2020-21 before hitting free agency.
Schroder is coming off a career-year with the Thunder, averaging 18.9 points, 3.6 rebounds and 4.0 assists while shooting 46.9 percent from the field and 38.5 percent from three-point range. He was one of the three finalists for the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year Award.
Green was a huge part of the Lakers’ championship season, starting in every game they played. His shooting was inconsistent in the postseason though, which has led to his tenure with the team lasting just one year after signing a two-year, $30 million deal last offseason.
Lakers were already reported to have interest in Schroder
This trade does not come as a huge surprise for the Lakers after it was recently reported that they had interest in acquiring Schroder. They also had reported interest in him at last year’s trade deadline but were unable to complete a deal.
It was also reported that Schroder had no interest in playing for the Lakers, although once a deal is completed, it is hard to imagine him not wanting to play alongside LeBron James and Davis for the defending NBA Champions. Since the Lakers have already traded their first-round pick next year, this trade cannot officially be completed until after this year’s draft.
With Green no longer in the mix though, the Lakers will likely now shift their focus to acquiring a wing defender to replace him.
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