After months of speculation, the NBA trade deadline ended up being a bust for the Los Angeles Lakers. No moves were made as the team decided to focus on potential players who could come available on the buyout market. The first big name to hit free agency was veteran guard Goran Dragic. The former All-Star was traded from the Toronto Raptors to the San Antonio Spurs only to get bought out.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski quickly reported that the Lakers would be one of the teams hoping to sign the guard. However, the team will be coming up empty-handed once again. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Dragic is signing with the Brooklyn Nets for the rest of the season.
This is a smart move by Dragic. He could get the chance to play a lot of minutes if either Kyrie Irving continues to refuse to get vaccinated or New York eases up their restrictions to allow the star guard to play home games. Neither stance seems likely to change so Dragic could become a key role player at homes games. Also, while the Nets have struggled this season, they are closer to contending for a championship than the Lakers are currently.
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This Is Another Blow to Lakers
This season can’t end soon enough for the Lakers. Whether it be Russell Westbrook having his worst season in a decade or Anthony Davis‘ continued injury issues, this team just can’t catch a break. Dragic wouldn’t have turned the team around but it would’ve been a win for a team that’s desperate for one.
Vice president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka has to start feeling the heat. The roster he put together this season hasn’t been good and he’s missed out on every opportunity to improve it. Obviously, LeBron can still work some magic and get this team to a place where they are scary in the playoffs. However, that seems increasingly unlikely.
Dennis Schroder Could Still Be an Option
While Dragic is off the table, that doesn’t mean the Lakers can’t still find an impact player. Dennis Schroder is already infamous in the fan base due to his absurd contract demands when he was in Los Angeles last season. He ended up taking a one-year deal with the Boston Celtics worth $5.89 million. He was recently traded to the Houston Rockets and could receive a buyout.
Should Schroder become a free agent, the Lakers would be wise to give him a strong look. He wasn’t great for the team last year but he also wasn’t a disaster. He’s a very good defensive player who is capable of a big scoring game from time to time. He’d be coming off the bench behind Westbrook, which he did for one year already when they both played in Oklahoma City. Schroder could bring some youth and energy to a team that desperately needs it. Similar to Dragic, he’s not going to save the season but he’d be a solid addition.