Dennis Schroder is headed to the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for Danny Green and the player the Lakers select with the 28th pick in Wednesday night’s draft. The deal cannot be finalized until after the event, but it was agreed to in principle, as first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
What’s most interesting about the trade is the fact that most people would assume that a player like Schroder would be excited to be joining the defending champions. He would appear to have the inside track on the starting job and should flourish playing alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
Schroder, though, for whatever reason, appears to have not been too keen on the option when it was presented to him, and based on comments he recently made, Schroder heavily suggests that he: (A) was presented with a trade proposal that would have landed him with the Lakers, and (B) that he turned it down because he preferred remaining with the Thunder.
The point guard discussed as much with the German-based MagentaSports basketball podcast last week, which another German publication (Sport1.de) attributes the following quote to him:
“Yes, I have received offers… But I never wanted to go to the Lakers, the Clippers, or all the names that my agents have have called… In the end, I’m good with GM (General Manager Sam Presti, editor’s note) and that was my decision. I said that I like the organization here better.”
While it should be noted that Google Translate isn’t 100% accurate, it’s difficult to read the quotes attributed to Schroder and not draw the conclusion that he was presented with trade proposals but turned them down.
If true, that’s obviously a major testament to the culture that Sam Presti has built in Oklahoma City and the fact that Schroder enjoyed being a part of a three-headed guard monster that featured him playing alongside Chris Paul and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
It would appear that Schroder let it be known that he preferred to stay in Oklahoma City and that Presti opted to give his unit an opportunity to compete in the playoffs. That’s also wholly consistent with Chris Paul ultimately remaining with the Thunder past the trade deadline after it was widely assumed that he would be moved.
Now that the team is fully pursuing its rebuild, Presti appears to have gone back to the Lakers and agreed to send Schroder there. It’s a move that we ourselves argued made a lot of sense for both clubs, although we admittedly (and perhaps foolishly) thought that Presti could pry Kyle Kuzma from the Lakers instead of the draft pick that’s coming.
Our theory of the case is bolstered by some additional copy provided by Sport1.de in which the author, Christian Paschwitz, imagines a world where Dennis Schroder would have joined Dirk Nowitzki as a German-born NBA Champion.