The Los Angeles Lakers have added two very interesting guards to their list of possible trade targets as the deadline approaches in Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie and Oklahoma City’s Dennis Schroder.
Both players address the Lakers top need for a guard that can score and function as a ball-handler for the second unit if LeBron James and Anthony Davis are on the bench. Rajon Rondo has been the primary backup to James, but has not played up to the standard that was expected.
Dinwiddie is averaging 21.3 points per game, 6.4 assists and 3.3 rebounds. He is making $10.6 million this year and becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2022. Despite having a big offseason haul of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, the Nets (22-27) have struggled as the two stars have dealt with injuries. Irving has been in and out of the lineup, while Durant isn’t expected to suit up as he recovers from an Achilles injury he suffered in last year’s NBA finals.
Schroder is playing just over 31 minutes per game in Oklahoma City, averaging 19.1 points per game. He’s making $15.5 million this season, so it will likely take multiple Lakers players to get the deal done.
The trade talk did not get too far, according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, who said that OKC wanted a hefty return if they were to trade him.
Frank Vogel: Lakers ‘Feel Really Good’ About the Roster
The Lakers were linked to a bevy of players on Wednesday in the multiple reports that surfaced. However, Lakers head coach Frank Vogel said that he liked the roster they have, without making any promises.
“I like where we’re at personally (but) it’s a never-say-never business,” Vogel told reporters via Bill Oram of The Athletic.
He has reason to be happy with his team. The Lakers are 38-11, atop the Western Conference and have shown great synergy, rallying around the emotion of losing a friend and mentor in Kobe Bryant.
“It’s just part of this time of the year, it just comes with the territory of being an NBA player, NBA coach and front office and we’re going to do our job,” Vogel told reporters. “Like every other team in the NBA, if there are ways to improve our team we’re gonna try to do it. If not, I know our team, we feel really good about who we have in uniform on this roster.”
Kyle Kuzma Not Worried About Trade Rumors
Kyle Kuzma has been the centerpiece of most of the Lakers trade talks. The 24-year-old forward is now in his third season in the league and has leaned on some advice he got from the late Kobe Bryant to get through all the trade deadline talk.
“Kobe always used to tell me if they aren’t talking about you, you should be worried,” Kuzma said, via The Athletic’s Bill Oram. “And I’m the talk of the town.”
“I really don’t care, honestly,” Kuzma said on Tuesday, via Melissa Rohlin. “You can’t control it. If I get traded, I get traded. It don’t matter. I’m still going to play basketball. I’m still going to play the game I love. I’m still going to be paid.”
That’s a change of pace from year’s past, where trade rumors got to Kuzma’s head.
“I consumed it more last year,” he said, per Bill Oram of The Athletic. “This year is different I don’t care at all, but last year it was new and foreign, so it was like more of a can’t-really-escape-it thing. But for me it’s a little bit easier now. I don’t really have my Twitter like that. I don’t really use it.”