The Los Angeles Lakers and the Oklahoma City Thunder formally agreed in principle on Monday to a deal that will ship Thunder guard Dennis Schroder to the defending-champion Lakers, sources told ESPN.
The deal will also see veteran guard Danny Green and L.A.’s no. 28 pick during the 2020 NBA Draft on Wednesday heading to Oklahoma City, sources said.
Since the deal cannot be finalized until after the draft and teams are barred from trading their first round pick before the draft in consecutive years (L.A. sent the 4th overall pick to the New Orleans Pelicans in the Anthony Davis deal last season), the Lakers will pick who the Thunder want at 28 and send whoever they take, along with Green, to the Thunder once the draft is finished, according to ESPN’s sources.
Schroder has been one of the most sought-after trade targets over the past few weeks, and he’ll now join a Lakers backcourt that is in sore need of his diverse offensive skill set. The fact that the Lakers may lose one or both of top guards Avery Bradley and Rajon Rondo in free agency surely also played a factor in this move for L.A.
With just one year left on his deal, the Lakers will be looking to sign the Brunswick, Germany native to a multi-year extension following the finalization of the trade on Wednesday, sources said. The defending champions have wasted no time improving their chances at winning back-to-back titles—sports betting site 888sport already had them as the favorites with +350 odds—since the official opening of the new league year last week.
Schroder spent the last two seasons in Oklahoma City coming off the bench as the sixth man, and he did a bang-up job in that role, finishing second in the league in Sixth Man Of The Year voting last season after averaging 18.9 points and 4.0 dimes a game on 47 percent shooting from the field.
Alongside fellow guards Chris Paul and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Schroder formed one of the deadliest lineups in basketball last season, though he has always been vocal about returning to a starting role, an opportunity it seems the Lakers intend to give him.
Back in Oklahoma City, Thunder general manager Sam Presti is literally rolling in draft picks. Last year, he traded franchise player Russell Westbrook to the Houston Rockets for Paul, two future first round picks and two second round pick swaps. Presti can now add the 2020 first-round pick from the Lakers to his pile as the Thunder load up in preparation for a serious rebuild.
Along for that rebuild ride, at least for a few games, will be 11-year veteran Danny Green, who is coming off back-to-back championships with the Toronto Raptors in 2019 and the Lakers a month ago. Green, who was once considered one of the best three-and-D guys in the league, had a down year last year, averaging just 8.0 points per game on 37 percent shooting from deep. How long he will stay with the rebuilding Thunder remains to be seen.