The Los Angeles Lakers have two key needs that we can expect the team to address either prior to the trade deadline or via the buyout market. The Lakers have been linked to several big men in trade rumors, but the team also needs to improve its long-range shooting. Los Angeles ranked 24th in the NBA in three-point shooting at 35.2% heading into the All-Star break.
CBS Sports’ Sam Quinn suggests the Lakers make a run at Magic guard Evan Fournier which would give the team another shooter heading into the playoffs. What Lakers fans may take issue with is Quinn suggesting the Lakers move point guard Dennis Schroder to acquire Fournier in a trade. Quinn adds the caveat that Schroder could be moved if the Lakers are not able to reach a long-term extension with him prior to the trade deadline.
If the Lakers are unable to agree to an extension with Schroder prior to the deadline, swapping him out for some extra shooting becomes a viable option. Fournier has made at 41 percent of his wide-open 3s in each of the past four seasons, the sort of shot that James creates readily. He provides enough supplementary playmaking to ease the loss of the only traditional point guard on the roster, though considering how poorly Schroder-led lineups without James have played offensively, that loss would be minimal. Schroder is a better point-of-attack defender, but Fournier’s size unlocks more switchability, which the Lakers will likely need to do more of defensively against shooting teams like the Nets and Clippers in the playoffs.
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Fournier Is Making $17 Million & Will be a Free Agent This Offseason
Both Fournier and Schroder are on the final months of their current contracts. If the Lakers are not able to reach an extension, Schroder will hit free agency this offseason. Schroder currently makes $15.5 million, while Fournier’s salary is $17 million, per Spotrac.
Fournier is averaging 18.5 points, 3.8 assists, 3.1 rebounds while shooting 37.1% in 21 starts this season for the Magic. Schroder has been open about his desire to remain in Los Angeles but emphasized he wants a “fair” deal.
“It’s amazing,” Schroder explained in January, per Bleacher Report. “That’s the reason why I think I want to be here long term, but like I said before, it’s got to be fair on both ends. If it’s fair, then I ain’t got no problems. It’s gonna be great to be here long term, for sure.”
Terrence Ross Is Another Potential Trade Option for the Lakers
Statistically, Fournier is a good shooter with a three-point percentage above 35% in eight of his nine seasons. If there is a critique, it is Fournier’s consistency as the Magic guard can go through cold spells on the court. The Lakers would also be giving up a plus defender in Schroder for Fournier who does not have the same strength. Ultimately, Quinn calls a deal for Fournier “unlikely” and mentions Terrence Ross as a potentially cheaper option.
“Such a deal would be unlikely, especially with Fournier himself a 2021 free agent, but the Lakers have needs that Schroder hasn’t filled and a number of other players in need of extensions, so if they believe his financial demands are too great, a trade can’t be ruled out entirely,” Quinn added. “Watch out for fellow Orlando wing Terrence Ross as well. He’s not quite the playmaker Fournier is, but brings just as much scoring at a salary that would be far easier for the Lakers to match in a trade.”