Trading for Dennis Schroder is a clever move by the Lakers. Here are the top three ways he’ll help LeBron James and his teammates.
Dennis Schroder isn’t a perfect NBA player, but he’s close to a perfect addition for the Lakers. Los Angeles is going to benefit from their decision to trade for the talented guard in a variety of ways.
For the record, the proposed deal is also going to be good for the Thunder. Oklahoma City will reportedly receive Danny Green and the No. 28 pick in this year’s draft in exchange for Schroeder. The draft pick gives the Thunder a chance to acquire a player that better suits their potential timeline for contention. Green will likely be moved in a separate trade before the start of the regular season.
With all due respect to the Thunder, it’s a much more impactful move for the Lakers. Here are the top three ways Los Angeles will benefit from this clever acquisition.
3. They will avoid overpaying Rajon Rondo
The Lakers were headed towards a really tough decision with Rondo in free agency. His excellent play during the team’s run to the NBA title was going to make him expensive to retain. Giving a player of his age a lucrative multi-year extension could have really hamstrung the Lakers’ cap sheet moving forward.
Adding Schroeder almost certainly means that Rondo will be playing elsewhere next season. The Lakers will miss his sublime passing and occasional stretches of quality defense, but Schroeder will give them much more scoring in the backcourt. Replacing Rondo with Schroeder will stop the Lakers from making a costly mistake in free agency.
2. Moving Green frees up playing time on the wing
The idea of Green as the Lakers’ starter at small forward made a lot of sense for Los Angeles, but his production was poor last year. Removing him from the roster should give Frank Vogel the freedom to give those minutes to younger, more productive options on the wing.
Kyle Kuzma will have a chance to be a big beneficiary of this deal. he’s got a chance to take Green’s spot in the starting lineup. He’ll need to improve his defense on the perimeter to make that work, but his upside is superior to Green’s at this stage in his career.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope could also get more minutes if he elects to re-sign. Lastly, it’s now possible the Lakers could look to add a potential starter on the wing with their taxpayer mid-level exception. No matter what path they choose, it should lead to more production from the small forward position.
1. Schroder can take pressure off LeBron and AD
Schroeder’s ability to create efficient scoring opportunities with the ball in his hands is going to do wonders for the Lakers in the regular season. One of the biggest potential dangers for Los Angeles before this deal was putting too much responsibility on LeBron James and Anthony Davis to carry the team on a nightly basis during the hectic regular season.
Schroeder gives Frank Vogel and his coaching staff a perimeter player who can initiate offense for the second-unit on a nightly basis. That will allow the Lakers to comfortably avoid the temptation of playing James and Davis too many minutes during games that really aren’t essential for the franchise’s championship goals.
The big question for Schroeder is whether or not he can play effectively with James and Davis. His ability to hit shots from the perimeter will likely dictate his ability to succeed with the starters. No matter what, Schroeder gives the Lakers a massive boost off the bench. The scoring depth he provides is the biggest reason why this trade is a big win for Los Angeles.