The defending World Champion Los Angeles Lakers strengthened their chances for a repeat by adding eight-year veteran guard Dennis Schröder, a candidate for Sixth Man of the Year, from the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Lakers sent much-maligned but three-time NBA champion guard/forward Danny Green and their 2020 first-round pick (28th overall) Jaden McDaniels from the University of Washington to OKC. Green in turn, was sent to the Philadelphia 76ers for center/forward Al Horford, the rights to 34th pick Theo Maledon from France, a future first-round draft pick, and the draft rights to Serbian guard Vasilije Micic.
Dennis Schröder averaged 18.9 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 4.0 assists in 30.8 minutes for 65 games (2 starts). He was the runner-up in the Sixth Man of the Year Award (won by former Clipper and new Laker teammate Montrezl Harrell). He shot 46.9 percent from the field, 38.5 percent from three-point range and 83.9 percent from the line.
Differences and Similarities With Rondo
It has been expected that veteran point guard Rajon Rondo, who was instrumental in the Lakers’ title, would be looking to cash in his “Playoff Rondo” success. It also had been speculated that his desire for a much-deserved raise could price the Lakers out of the running (the most they have is the full mid-level exception). The acquisition of Schröder essentially confirmed the departure of Rondo. Rondo and Schröder have been compared before; they both are listed at 6’1” with long arms. They both are crafty finishers, great playmakers, and have feisty personalities. They also have both improved their shooting over the years.
Now here are the differences: Schröder is younger at 28, compared to Rondo, who is 34. Rondo’s defense (as well as overall performance) can come and go in the regular season, but he was clearly dialed in on that end during the title run in the bubble. Schröder is also a capable defender. Rondo is a prototypical point guard, whereas Schröder is more of a scoring guard. Ironically, Rondo and Schröder actually clashed in a game last season between the Lakers and Thunder.