Thunder point guard Dennis Schröder will be traded to the Los Angeles Lakers following Wednesday’s draft. Schröder will cost LA guard Danny Green and the 28th overall pick in this year’s draft, per league sources.
Schröder spent the past two seasons with the Thunder, where he played starting-caliber minutes off the bench. He put up 18.6 points per game on 46.9% shooting last season, en route to a second-place finish for the 2020 Sixth Man of the Year.
Green was an important piece off the Lakers’ bench last season as a three-point specialist; an absurd 69% of his shots came from behind the arc. He played crucial minutes in the NBA Finals, despite bricking a series-clinching three in Game 5.
The move is mutually beneficial for both teams, with no immediate disparity in value. Los Angeles adds youth and playmaking, both of which they lack. With the anticipated loss of Rajon Rondo, the Lakers have an immediate need at PG, a hole filled by Schröder. OKC suffers the opposite issue, with a logjam at the one. Schröder was one of three point guards to play over 30 minutes for the Thunder last season, the others being Chris Paul and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
Whispers of OKC dealing Paul have also made their rounds. At 35, CP3 is still a top-tier starter. However, he does not provide much to a team like the Thunder that are still a building a contender. The added 28th overall pick will their second first round selection of the upcoming draft, the first being Denver’s 25th overall selection. It is most likely that the Thunder will package one or both of those picks in any potential Paul trade.
Barring a move for another point guard, Schröder will start for the Lakers. The 27-year-old German last started for Atlanta in 2018. From 2016-18 he averaged 18.6 points and 6.3 assists per game while starting for the Hawks.
He was traded to Oklahoma City before the 2019 season as part of a three team deal also involving Philadelphia. In return for Schröder and Mike Muscala, Atlanta received Carmelo Anthony, Justin Anderson, and OKC’s 2022 first round selection. The Hawks cut Anthony just five days later, and Anderson averaged under 10 minutes in his 48 games played.
There is no clear-cut winner on either side. As mentioned, LA gets someone to run the point guard and the rights to keep him around for a few more years should they want to. OKC desperately needed three-point shooting (they attempted the fourth fewest threes per game last season) as well as an asset to flip alongside Chris Paul. Both teams are following their anticipated paths; the Lakers pushing to repeat as champs, the Thunder adding pieces that will allow them trade for players that will push them over the edge.