What addition of Dennis Schroder means for Lakers

L.A. adds a playmaker that can lessen the load for LeBron James
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LOS ANGELES -- Looking to extend their championship window, the Los Angeles Lakers made a move in anticipation of the NBA Draft that should help them this season and beyond.

As ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski recently reported, the Lakers made a deal to trade guard Danny Green and the team’s No. 28 overall pick in Wednesday’s draft to the Oklahoma City Thunder for guard Dennis Schroder.

The agreement cannot be formally finalized until after Wednesday’s draft. L.A. cannot outright send the pick to Oklahoma City per league rule that restricts the moving of first-round picks in consecutive years, so the Lakers will make the pick for the Thunder and send them the player.

So, what do the Lakers get in Schroder? We take a closer look.

He helps them win now
Instead of securing a potential playmaker that will need to develop through the draft, the Lakers add someone familiar with the league that can help them win now as the defender their NBA title.

At 6-1 and 172 pounds, the 27-year-old Schroder averaged 18.9 points and 4.0 assists and 3.6 rebounds in 69 games as part of Oklahoma City’s three-guard starting lineup. He finished runner-up for the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Yar award.

Schroder is capable of running an offense and playing off the ball, so he adds versatility to L.A.’s backcourt and can lessen the load on LeBron’s James having to run the offense.

He can shoot it
Although it remains to be seen if he can put up similar numbers this season, Schroder should be an improvement as a perimeter shooter over Green, who struggled from beyond the arc last season.

Schroder shot a career-high 38.5 percent from the 3-point line last season. Green, 33, shot 36.7 percent from beyond the arc during the regular season, and that number dropped to 34 percent from 3-point range in the playoffs.

Specifically, Schroder thrived as a catch-and-shoot guy from beyond the arc last year, shooting 41 percent in those situations last season. He should get many open looks as a spot-up guy playing with James.

Extra firepower for load management
With most of L.A.’s lineup getting less than two months to rest before the start of training camp on Dec. 1, the Lakers could use a player with some extra energy to help shoulder the scoring load early in the season.

Schroder hasn’t played since Oklahoma City’s last game in the NBA bubble in Orlando in September. He should be well rested and ready to provide some offense at the start of the regular season for the Lakers.

A foundational piece that can grow with AD

With Anthony Davis opting out of his current deal, the Lakers are currently in negotiations with his representation to secure his services on a longer team deal, and ultimately want the 27-year-old big man to remain with the team long-term.

Schroder could, who has a year left on his current contract that will pay him $15.5 million on the upcoming season, is the same age as Davis. And the Lakers would like to get him signed to a new deal beyond this season, keeping him around as a complimentary piece to Davis and James as the team tries to create a foundational group that allows them to compete for NBA titles, year in and year out.

Can Schroder play a little defense?

While the Lakers may have improved the team’s shooting accuracy from deep, they did lose a good wing defender in Green, who at 6-6 provided length and experience.

Schroder mostly likely will be used as a on-the-ball defender for opposing point guards and gives up size and length defending shooting guards. His defensive deficiencies are one of the reasons the Lakers are reportedly interesting signing Milwaukee Bucks pending free agent Wes Matthews.