Three guards the Lakers might trade for this offseason

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Even though the Lakers received the 2020 NBA championship (I nonetheless smile each time I write that), the entrance workplace will certainly proceed to search for methods to enhance this roster. One widespread theme that has emerged from their efforts is that the Lakers are thinking about another playmaker who can bend defenses along with his skill to score.

Brian Windhorst indicated as a lot in an interview with our personal Jas Kang. As Windhorst mentioned, “There’s a deal out there for them for another guard. That would be interesting. I’ll see if they actually go forward with it. It’s a guard on the last year of his contract who was great last year for his team and that team may be looking to move him.”

Windhorst doesn’t specify which guard — and even what sort of guard — the Lakers are concentrating on, however the entrance workplace’s sample of habits over the previous 12 months suggests it’s a jitterbug point guard who can alleviate among the scoring burden on the team’s two superstars.

Exhibit A: The Lakers provided Detroit Alex Caruso on the trade deadline in change for Derrick Rose. Rose is now not the athlete he as soon as was after years of knee issues, however he can nonetheless get to the rim persistently. Per Cleaning the Glass, he took 39 % of his shots there final season, putting him within the 78th percentile of point guards. He additionally acquired another 28 % of his shots within the floater vary, demonstrating his skill to persistently put strain on the basket. Furthermore, Rose had the best help share of his career final season on a team that wasn’t precisely bursting with offensive threats.

Exhibit B: The Lakers put the full-court press on Darren Collison in February earlier than the L.A. native determined to not come out of retirement. Collison doesn’t assault the rim like Rose, however he gives a scoring risk along with his exterior shooting. He has additionally by no means averaged fewer than 5.2 assists per 36 minutes, a mark that was only eclipsed by LeBron James and Rajon Rondo on the Lakers this season.

Exhibit C: When Collison spurned the Lakers, they went with Dion Waiters as their backup plan. Waiters has traditionally been one of the league’s greatest guards at attending to the basket. Those numbers dipped in his injury-riddled end in Miami, however in his quick stint with the Lakers, he took 42 % of his field-goal makes an attempt inside 4 toes of the hoop. As an entire, his team’s offenses have at all times taken extra shots close to the rim with Waiters on the floor.

Clearly, the Lakers have a kind. They didn’t want this sort of player in the course of the playoff run as a result of Rondo morphed into his playoff alter-ego and gave the team secondary playmaking with a touch of long-range shooting and frequent drives to the rim. Playoff Rondo is who the Lakers have needed all alongside.

But if Windhorst is true that the Lakers are nonetheless thinking about another guard, their continued insistence on discovering a player of that mould means that Rondo has eyes elsewhere in free agency or that they anticipate Rondo to revert again right into a lesser player when the regular season begins. The presumed accelerated tempo of this regular season may also necessitate another guard as a result of James received’t play as many minutes.

That leads us to the query: Who might Windhorst be speaking about?

Victor Oladipo has been talked about in trade talks with a number of teams given his reported want to depart the Pacers as soon as his contract ends after this season. Oladipo is an athletic scoring guard who would supply a special dimension to the Lakers’ offense, and the Lakers might simply put collectively a trade bundle for the Indiana guard centered round Danny Green and Kyle Kuzma.

However, Oladipo didn’t have season final 12 months, so he’s most likely not Windhorst’s thriller man.

That didn’t, nonetheless, cease us creating this photoshop.

Rose had season in 2019-20, and seems to have settled into the player he will probably be on this latter section of his career, a much less explosive however nonetheless environment friendly scorer who can even run an offense. He has one 12 months left on his contract, and Detroit is probably going headed in the direction of a rebuild beneath new GM Troy Weaver, so it is smart to money out on Rose and get some younger expertise or future picks. And given Pelinka’s earlier curiosity in Rose on the deadline, this might appear to be a extremely seemingly risk.

There’s additionally Dennis Schröder, another lightning-quick point guard who simply had far and away the very best season of his career in 2019-20 with Oklahoma City. He shot above-average from each a part of the floor, together with 63 % on the rim and 39 % from 3-point vary. He assisted on 22.3 % of his team’s baskets, a powerful determine in isolation and extra spectacular contemplating he at all times performed subsequent to another point guard. Perhaps most significantly, the Thunder defense was 6.6 points per 100 possessions higher with Schröder on the floor.

The OKC guard completed second in Sixth Man of the Year voting, so “great” is an inexpensive descriptor, and he can even be a free agent within the 2021 offseason. Like the Pistons, the Thunder are most likely pivoting in the direction of the longer term, and at age 27, Schröder will not be part of that, making him a possible trade candidate, as Windhorst suggests.

Looking at this record of targets, and contemplating Waiters’ minimal influence on the Lakers throughout his time in purple and gold, it’s value contemplating if the Lakers really want a player of this ilk. Caruso’s physique of labor outpaces that of each Rose and Schröder, most prominently on the defensive end, and buying Oladipo requires an enormous leap of religion in his well being, which looks like a deadly gamble based mostly on his play within the bubble. Caruso can be persevering with to enhance as a floor basic, and the jump he took earlier than and after the hiatus exhibits {that a} conventional point guard should still be lurking inside.

The Lakers are additionally grooming Talen Horton-Tucker as a facilitator within the G League, and he didn’t look out of place when thrown into the Western Conference semifinals. Anthony Davis was a point guard throughout his early years, and there’s no motive why he can’t take a higher duty operating the offense, as he did at times final season.

And even when the Lakers don’t have the particular Rose/Schröder/Oladipo ability set on their roster, who says they want that? Waiters was overwhelmed out by J.R. Smith of all individuals within the rotation earlier than Rondo returned, and no one is farther from a playmaker than Smith. The Lakers are defense-first outfit, and all of those potential additions are critically missing on that end of the floor.

The Lakers have been certainly not an ideal team in 2019-20, and there are most likely methods they may stand to enhance within the offseason. The entrance workplace’s affinity for quick-twitch point guards could not really feel like the easiest way to make use of their restricted assets, however Rob Pelinka has earned some advantage of the doubt with their roster development success to this point. It stays to be seen if the team’s golden contact on the margins will strike once more.

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