With an 11-2 win-loss record, the Los Angeles Lakers are currently leading the Western Conference. The team, however, has been said to have its share of weaknesses, including the point guard position, where natural forward LeBron James has been forced to play for most of the 2019-20 season so far. With this in mind, a recent report suggested that the Lakers could upgrade their point guard rotation — which currently features Rajon Rondo, Alex Caruso, and Quinn Cook — by trading for a more capable floor leader, such as Dennis Schroder of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
On Sunday, Fansided‘s Lake Show Life suggested five possible trade targets at point guard for the Lakers, explaining in Schroder’s entry that the Thunder are expected to be among the NBA’s “biggest sellers” ahead of the February trade deadline. While starters Chris Paul, Steven Adams, and Danilo Gallinari have frequently been mentioned among the players Oklahoma City will consider trading this season, the publication suggested that the Lakers should focus their attention on Schroder. Schroder is a former starter for the Atlanta Hawks who has played a backup role since joining the Thunder last season.
As Schroder is making $15.5 million this season, Lake Show Life wrote that it might be hard to match his salary. However, the Lakers-centric outlet suggested that Los Angeles could barely fall within the NBA’s salary-matching rules by offering three reserves — shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, forward Jared Dudley, and rookie wingman Talen Horton-Tucker. It was also suggested that the Lakers could “sweeten” the deal by offering one or two future second-round draft picks.
— NBA (@NBA) October 28, 2019
As explained by Lake Show Life, the recommended deal won’t just give the Lakers a capable point guard who could reduce their reliance on the aging, injury-prone Rondo, but also benefit the Thunder as they start their rebuilding process.
“[The Thunder] are ostensibly looking for either picks or young talent in exchange for their veteran players. Caldwell-Pope can still prove to be a valuable piece and is still only 26 years old, and Horton-Tucker is the kind of athletic, non-shooting wing that the Thunder seems to love so much.”
A former first-round pick of the Hawks who once averaged close to 20 points per game for the team, Schroder is currently averaging 13.7 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 4.4 assists off the bench for the Thunder, per Basketball-Reference. The German point guard has two years remaining on his contract with Oklahoma City, which, as pointed out by Lake Show Life, could allow the Lakers to easily “flip” him next offseason, assuming they trade for him and he doesn’t live up to expectations.