On November 15, it was revealed that the Los Angeles Lakers and Oklahoma City Thunder had agreed a deal in principle that sends guard Dennis Schroder to Los Angeles. With 3-time NBA Champion, Danny Green, and the 28th pick in the 2020 NBA Draft going the other way.
Schroder ticks a lot of boxes for the Lakers, who are looking to strengthen their roster this off-season. In a bid to win back-to-back championships. Here are 3 ways the trade immediately improved the purple and gold.
Dennis Schroder is a career 33.7% shooter from downtown, which doesn’t exactly set the world alight. But through the 2019-20 campaign, he set a career-high 38.5% in 3-point shooting. This was on a career-high 5 attempts per game. The 27-year-old converted an impressive 41% of his catch-and-shoot 3s last season.
From the right, corner side of the arc, Schroder drained a huge 54% of his looks. A prime location for players to get open shooting opportunities on a LeBron James-led team. Which Schroder is now a part of. He’s going to get more convincing looks than he has ever had before in the NBA.
Depth in the Guard Rotation:
The Lakers were crying out for guard depth in the 2019-20 regular season. Which resulted in them chasing former MVP Derrick Rose at the trade deadline. Dennis Schroder fits the bill. More specifically, as a ball handler.
Rajon Rondo was practically non-existent in the regular season for the Lakers last time out, however, he did step up big in the playoffs. Ideally, the purple and gold would prefer an option that can produce in both the regular season and postseason. Now they do.
Alex Caruso is on the books for the 2020-21 campaign, Quinn Cook is too. If the Lakers can find a way to retain Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and/or Avery Bradley while searching the free agency market for a Jeff Teague type of player. Their guard rotation will look very strong as they look to go back-to-back.
Schroder being a ball-handler was mentioned. But he can also play off-the-ball at the 2, as evidenced in his impressive catch-and-shoot statistics. This gives the Lakers flexibility to draft in Schroder for the second unit, providing ball-handling duties off the bench along with a scoring punch. Additionally, he is very capable of being part of a starting lineup with LeBron James and Anthony Davis, operating as a third or fourth option.
His versatility doesn’t just come on the court. Schroder is in the final year of a 4-year, $70 million contract that he signed with the Atlanta Hawks back in 2017. His expiring deal will pay him $15.5 million in the 2020-21 season. This keeps the books open for the Lakers to pursue another superstar, Giannis Antetokounmpo, in 2021. If Antetokoumpo opts to remain in Milwaukee or goes elsewhere, the Lakers have the option to re-sign Schroder moving forward.