The Los Angeles Lakers will finalize a trade with the Oklahoma City centered around Dennis Schroder as early as noon on Monday. They had their eyes on a different NBA guard prior to reaching an agreement.
According to Sports Illustrated Senior Writer Chris Mannix, the Lakers explored a trade for Milwaukee Bucks guard Eric Bledsoe before reaching an agreement with the Thunder on a deal for Schroder.
Perhaps most importantly of all for the Lakers is that Schroder is on an expiring deal worth $15.5 million. Bledsoe is under contract through 2022-23 when he has a $19.38 million player option. Reducing long-term financial flexibility is a tough ask for Los Angeles.
It’s not just about financial circumstances either. There is a clear advantage for the Lakers when it comes to Schroder’s skill-set as opposed to Eric Bledsoe. For starters, Schroder is a far more reliable spot-up shooter and that’s vital alongside LeBron James.
The fact that Schroder has played a bench role with a playoff team is all the more intriguing. It shows he is comfortable being both a starter when called upon and also can thrive coming off the bench as the leader of a bench unit.
The Lakers will be able to use their $9.3 million Mid-Level Exception (MLE) worth $9.3 million to complete their supporting cast. Addressing the point guard position this early in the NBA offseason will certainly help, but that spending room will be vital for other spots.
Dennis Schroder is coming off a career-year with the Oklahoma City Thunder— featuring averages of 18.9 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 4.0 assists. Now, he will have an opportunity to compete with the Los Angeles Lakers for a chance to win an NBA championship.
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