Through 49 games, the Los Angeles Lakers are the best team in the Western Conference, but they have still have some work to do with their roster before the postseason, and one of the positions they’re lacking talent in is the point guard position. While they have a lot of bodies at point guard, only a few of them have been able to provide quality minutes for them this season.
It’s for that reason the Lakers are aggressively trying to acquire a lead point guard before Thursday’s NBA trade deadline, and according to Zach Lowe of ESPN, they’ve inquired about combo guards Spencer Dinwiddie of the Brooklyn Nets and Dennis Schroder of the Oklahoma City Thunder (via “The Woj & Lowe Trade Deadline Special” on ESPN):
“We’ve heard not just [Andre] Iguodala and Marcus Morris, but Spencer Dinwiddie. Dennis Schroder, I think they’ve made some calls on. We’ll see where they end up.”
Dave McMenamin of ESPN confirmed Lowe’s report about Schroder, but said that the talks between the two sides didn’t go very far at all:
The Lakers inquired about Dennis Schröder as they look to fortify the PG position leading up to the trade deadline, sources told ESPN. The conversation did not go very far, as OKC -- currently the No. 7 seed in the West -- were not looking to move him without a hefty return.— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) February 5, 2020
In addition to Schroder and Dinwiddie, the Lakers have expressed interest in Detroit Pistons forward Markieff Morris, the twin brother of New York Knicks forward Marcus Morris, who they’ve also reportedly made calls about in the lead-up to the deadline:
Marcus Morris and the Knicks have everyone's attention, but the Pistons have also received calls from multiple contenders for his brother, Markieff Morris.— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) February 5, 2020
The Lakers, Clippers, Bucks, Sixers, and Celtics are among those teams interested in Markieff Morris, per league sources.
It probably wouldn’t take much to get Markieff Morris out of Detroit. He only makes $3.2 million, so a combination of Troy Daniels and Jared Dudley would get it done for the Lakers, salary-wise. Whether or not he’s worth that is a different conversation.
Dinwiddie and Schroder, on the other hand, would be harder for the Lakers to trade for. Similar to any trade package for Marcus Morris, the Lakers would have to get close to $10 million in total salary to fulfill the NBA’s matching requirements for Dinwiddie or Schroder.
Dinwiddie is on an expiring contract worth $10.6 million, so his contract wouldn’t be impossible to match. The question is whether or not the Lakers have the right combination of contracts and assets. For example, Avery Bradley and Kyle Kuzma get the Lakers to where they need to be for Dinwiddie, but do the Nets value either one of them enough to make that deal? Would the Thunder in the case of Schroder? And if not, is a second-round pick or Quinn Cook really going to tip the scale in the Lakers’ favor?
Probably not, and we can safely assume that’s why the Lakers’ talks with the Thunder broke down.
The Lakers can continue to be aggressive on the trade front, but it’s going to take the perfect storm for them to get an impact player without overpaying.