I was just watching this clip of First Things First and Nick Wright dropped some valuable information about the Lakers’ free agency plans going forward in the wake of the Dennis Schroder trade:
Here’s the transcript Nick Wright’s remarks, which begin around the 5:50 mark:
“I’ve got a little bit of information for Lakers and NBA fans. Here’s what you need to know: KCP will probably be back, but it’s gonna be similar to the JR Smith situation with his last contract in Cleveland. It’s gonna take a long time and the Lakers are gonna have to pay a lot of money and use their Bird Rights to get him.
Rondo is gone, almost assuredly to Atlanta, and then they have a decision to make: do they try to keep Dwight? Or do they let Dwight leave, probably to Golden State, and then use their entire mid-level [exception] on maybe Tristan Thompson, or the guy I think would fit better, Serge Ibaka.
Those are the moving pieces, along with Anthony Davis deciding if he’s going to take a one-plus-one, or the five-year deal. But the addition of [Dennis] Schroder makes a ton of sense for them, it fits. Danny Green was clearly on the downside, the 28th pick was not going to help them this year. So I love the Schroder trade.”
I could see the Lakers going after Serge Ibaka. I think that would be a great move for them. It feels like he’s been around forever, but he’s only 31 years old. He averaged 15ppg and 8rpg for Toronto last season and would be an upgrade at the center position. The dude is an athletic freak who blocks a ton of shots and can even shoot the three.
It’s great for the Lakers that KCP will likely be back. He was a major asset in the playoffs, hitting big threes and at times providing an offensive spark when the Laker offense slowed down.
Laker fans must be sad to see Rondo go, but the guy has earned one last big contract for himself. He was only making about $2.5 million last year, and Atlanta is probably going to give him way more than that. Playoff Rondo was crucial for the Lakers in the playoffs last year and stepped up in a major way all throughout their time in the bubble. It was huge for the Lakers to have a guy with a high basketball IQ out there on the floor, both when LeBron was on the bench and even when LeBron was on the floor.
That said, I do think Schroder will be able to more than fill the void left by Rondo. He was a fantastic addition for the Lakers who absolutely makes them a more dangerous team.