The Lakers drew first blood on the offseason with their swap for Dennis Schroder. As was suggested in our Draft Predictions Roundtable, the Lakers were expected to move on from Green after his lukewarm showing in this year's playoffs, and the path they've now chosen is to use him to upgrade from Rajon Rondo with Schroder.
- Dennis Schroder (under contract for 1 year, $15.5M)
- Danny Green (under contract for 1 year, $15.4M)
- #28 pick in the 2020 Draft
From the Lakers Side:
On the surface, this trade makes a ton of sense for LA: they're moving a player whose ability may be waning for an upgrade at point guard who's in his prime. Schroder will be great in the secondary playmaker role for the Lakers, which will help with preserving Lebron's energy for the playoffs. Schroder will also be a dangerous pick and role partner with Anthony Davis. Finding shooters to surround Lebron and AD with will always be a top priority for the Lakers, and Schroder shot slightly better than Green from three in this most reason, 39% vs 37% respectively.
If you're looking to poke holes in the trade from LA's perspective, a few angles come to mind:
- Schroder is a career 33% shooter from three, while Green has been a respected marksman with a career mark of 40%. Will they shoot closer to their most recent rates? Or regress back closer to their career averages?
- Green is known as the quintessential 3&D player while Schroder is known for his scoring prowess and volatility. Will the Lakers miss Green's defense? And will they miss having a low maintenance player accustomed to a low usage role?
- LA is essentially swapping Green, Rondo, and and who they could've drafted #28 (let's say a shooter like Isaiah Joe) for Schroder and a wing they add in free agency (they're currently being linked to Wes Matthews). Would you rather have Green, Rondo, and Joe or Schroder and Matthews?
- I don't think the Lakers win the 2020 title without Rajon Rondo. Can Schroder rise to the occasion the way Rondo did? Or is Playoff Rondo more valuable than Schroder when the game slows down and defenses tighten?
Despite these points, at the end of the day, as a person who actively roots against the Lakers, this move makes me worried. I'm taking that as a telltale sign that on balance the move was a good one for LA.
From the Thunder Side
It's easy to start to worry that Sam Presti has become dangerously obsessed with owning all the picks. I do see value with the #28 pick in this draft though, as there's plenty of players I like that should be available at the end of the first round (hello, Jahmi'us Ramsey). And adding another young, hopefully talented player that will be under contract for 4 years is always a prudent move.
The addition of Green was clearly made under the guise of acquiring an asset that will be dealt again at this upcoming year's trade deadline. So we'll have to wait to fully evaluate this trade until we see the Thunder's eventual return for Green, but I'm still surprised the Thunder couldn't have gotten more for Schroder. Trading the runner-up for 6th Man of the Year for one potentially washed wing under control for one season and a late first rounder isn't a great look. There comes a point where the stockpiling of assets doesn't mean anything unless they're cashed in for good players, and we'll see if OKC can make that transition successfully.