During the 2020 offseason, the Los Angeles Lakers made several big moves to improve its bench depth and address other weaknesses, including one that allowed them to acquire Dennis Schroder from the Oklahoma City Thunder. However, as suggested in a recent trade idea, the team could make their point guard rotation even stronger by acquiring Malcolm Brogdon of the Indiana Pacers for Schroder, Wesley Matthews, Talen Horton-Tucker, and a 2026 first-round draft pick.
On Tuesday, NBA Analysis Network wrote that the Lakers don't necessarily need to make any moves ahead of the March 25 deadline, given that they're ranked second in the Western Conference with a 22-7 record. While Schroder has been playing well since moving to Los Angeles, the outlet noted that the Lakers still might have some room for improvement. The Pacers could stand out as a potential trade partner as they recently lost Victor Oladipo to the Houston Rockets and are firmly in the middle of the Eastern Conference with a 14-14 record.
According to the publication, the hypothetical transaction would give the Lakers a player who, despite being a bit "pricey," is in the middle of the most productive season in his five-year professional career. Per Basketball-Reference, Brogdon is averaging 21.2 points, 4.7 rebounds, 6.5 assists, and 1.3 steals in 28 games for the Pacers and is shooting 43.8 percent from the field and 37.8 percent from beyond the arc. This could make him an immediate impact player who could be even more helpful than Schroder in the postseason.
"The Lakers would be landing a relatively affordable All-Star caliber talent that would bring a complementary skill-set offensively next to LeBron James and Anthony Davis," NBA Analysis Network added. "Malcolm Brogdon's defensive ability would help."
As for the Pacers, the site wrote that the club has long been expected to be making another significant move in the lead-up to the deadline, with power forward Domantas Sabonis being the "lone untouchable" in Indiana. Aside from Schroder being skilled enough to replace most of Brogdon's contributions at point guard, he is also on a more affordable contract — one that expires at the end of the 2020-21 campaign.
After thriving in a sixth-man role with the Thunder from 2018 to 2020, Schroder was given a starting job in Los Angeles and has since averaged 13.9 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 4.4 assists, according to Basketball-Reference. His shooting percentages, however, have declined to 43.4 percent from the field and just 31.5 percent from beyond the arc.
While the veteran Matthews was mostly included for salary-matching purposes, Horton-Tucker might turn out to be a keeper, considering his "high ceiling" and potential to blossom into a star if given additional playing time by the Pacers.