The Los Angeles Lakers have lost six out of their last eight games, leaving some speculation on potential trades that would bolster the reigning champs’ roster ahead of the NBA trade deadline later this month.
One recent hypothetical scenario: A D’Angelo Russell reunion.
Russell has been ruled out since early February because of arthroscopic surgery to remove a loose body from his left knee. The 25-year-old combo guard was averaging 19.3 points and 5.1 assists per game prior to the injury.
As the Minnesota Timberwolves still sit with a league-worst 7-28 record, they will likely be one of the teams eager to shuffle their roster around, on or before March 25. The Lakers might very well be willing to strike a deal that gets them their former No. 2 overall draft pick.
Despite the Lakers’ current standing (third in the Western Conference) with a 24-12 record, they’ve had far from the perfect season. Anthony Davis has played in only 23 games, while LeBron James and Co. have been tasked to win enough games to at least be put in position for a Finals repeat. But if this team has proven anything in the last few weeks, it’s this: Nothing will be easily accomplished in the 2020-21 NBA season.
While Anthony Davis’ absence has left a much heftier challenge for the Lakers, and most notably James – who will reportedly miss his first game of the season Wednesday against the Sacramento Kings – it’s given the coaching staff and front office a much clearer perspective on looming issues that could affect the team late in the season.
Dennis Schroder has provided the Lakers with a quality point guard option and pick-and-roll ball handler to seamlessly place alongside LeBron James and Davis. But whether or not the Lakers see long-term fit with him remains uncertain. Schroder rejected an extension with the Lakers before the season, and he’s now able to earn up to $83 million over four years if they offer him again. If not, then they may be looking to move on.
One potential scenario that could be intriguing to both the Lakers and Timberwolves could involve D’Angelo Russell and Josh Okogie being sent to Los Angeles. In exchange, Minnesota would receive Dennis Schroder, Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell, and the Lakers’ first round picks in 2022 and 2025.
The Lakers acquiring Russell would definitely bring some familiarity and scoring back to the roster. The Timberwolves, on the other hand, would be able to lock down a long-term veteran in Schroder as they continue their rebuild. An interesting hypothetical, to say the least.