The Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Lakers have an agreement in place that will send G Dennis Schroder to L.A. for a first-round pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported on Sunday afternoon. The Lakers will give the Thunder the No. 28 pick in the draft, which takes place on Wednesday. OKC will have the Nos. 25 and 28 picks in the draft, and has 16 first-round picks from now until 2026, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The bigger part of this deal is Schroder going to the defending champions. The Lakers were always going to have a tough time adding talent to the roster this offseason. They’ve somehow snagged one of the top 6th man in the NBA this past season. Schroder came off the bench for the Thunder, but was heavily used in crunch time lineups. He averaged 18.9 points and 4.0 assists in 30.8 minutes per game despite only starting twice in 2019-20. It’s unclear if Schroder would start for the Lakers at this point.
Schroder is set to make $15.5 million in 2020-21, so this likely means the team won’t be retaining all of its guards from the championship run. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Rajon Rondo and Avery Bradley all have player options for this upcoming season. Pope will likely opt out to seek a bigger deal. Bradley and Rondo could ultimately do the same. There’s a chance at least one or two are retained on team-friendly deals, but that may be tough for L.A. to do. Acquiring Schroder at least gives the Lakers an above-average guard to start or come off the bench. He’d be sort of like a mini-third option behind LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
The deal can go through on Monday when the transaction window opens up again. There have been reports that the trade won’t be official until after Wednesday’s draft, so the Lakers will essentially be drafting for OKC at No. 28.
As for early fantasy basketball implications, it’s tough to tell before free agency. We’ll know more about Schroder’s role and the Lakers’ roster closer to Dec. 1, when training camp starts. Initially, Schroder should have good fantasy value playing next to LeBron James and Anthony Davis in crunch time lineups. He may not get as many scoring opportunities, but we could see an uptick in assist numbers. We also know that James could rest early on in the season. If this is the case, Schroder. becomes the top offensive option behind Davis. We could see a lot of Schroder chalk nights early on in the 2020-21 season in DFS.