Shortly after the news that the trade market was set to open on November 16th, the Los Angeles Lakers have appeared to hit the ground running. They’ve been connected to a lot of players this offseason and it looks like they’ve zeroed in on one guy. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Lakers are nearing a trade that would bring them Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dennis Schroder.
Wojnarowski also revealed that the deal could include Danny Green and the Lakers’ first-round draft pick for this year.
In fact, talks have gone so far that it looks like the deal could be completed on Monday, once the trade window opens.
This could be the first shoe to drop in what should be a busy offseason for the Thunder, who look like they’re ready to enter a rebuild.
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Trade Makes Sense for Lakers
This isn’t the first time the Lakers have been linked to Schroder. The team was reportedly interested in acquiring him at last season’s trade deadline. That never came to fruition but Los Angeles now has a good shot to get their guy.
Schroder is coming off a season where he finished second in the race for Sixth Man of the Year. He averaged 18.9 points a game off the bench for a Thunder team that made it to the playoffs. He also was able to improve from the 3-point line. Despite being a career 34% shoot from beyond the arc, he shot almost 39% last season.
It remains to be seen if the Lakers plan to have him in the starting lineup or come off the bench. He’s played point guard for most of his career so he could be the ideal guy to backup LeBron James. The Lakers didn’t have a great sixth man last season. If the Schroder deal goes through, that changes. Not only do they get one of the best bench players in the NBA, but they also get a legit third scoring option behind LeBron and Anthony Davis.
Schroder Recently Said He Didn’t Want to Be a Laker
One situation to keep an eye on is the fact that Schroder recently said that he had “offers” to go to the Lakers and Clippers but didn’t want to.
“Yes, I have received offers. But I never wanted to go to the Lakers, the Clippers or all the names that may have called my agents,” Schroder said to the MagentaSport podcast, per Sport 1.
“In the end, I’m good with the GM [Sam Presti – the OKC General Manager] and that was my decision. I said that I like the organization here better.”
Now, those comments could mean a couple of things. It could mean that he was happy in Oklahoma City and didn’t want to be traded. It wasn’t specifically that he didn’t want to go to Los Angeles, he just didn’t mind staying put. It’s doubtful that he specifically has a problem with Los Angeles.
Regardless, the Thunder are headed for a rebuild and they don’t have a need for a player like Schroder. Should everything fall into place, the guard will come to the reigning champions and probably not look back. He’ll be an unrestricted free agent after this upcoming season.