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What should I do about the LA Lakers’ 3 biggest offseason moves so far | Bleaching report



Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James speaks with guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope during the first half of Game 5 of the basketball NBA Finals against the Miami Heat on Friday 9th.  October 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.  (AP Photo / Mark J. Terrill)

Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press

Last season, the backbone of the Los Angeles Lakers̵

7; success was their defense. With the moves they have made over the last few days, it is clear that they are seeking to add more offensive firepower while trying to hold on to their defensive identity.

Prior to the draft, Lakers’ Danny Green and the 28th election returned to Oklahoma City for Dennis Schroder. They then signed free agent Wesley Matthews on a one-year $ 3.6 million deal. They also shocked the NBA world when they convinced Montrezl Harrell to let the hall change for two years, $ 19 million with a player option.

During the regular season this past year, the Lakers offense would fall down a cliff whenever LeBron James walked on the bench; their offensive assessment was 112.1 with him on the field and 105.2 with him out. A few days into the low season, they addressed those needs by adding Sixth Man of the Year, second place and a three-and-D wing.

How can things look in LA in the coming season?

Can Schroder fill out Rondo’s invalidity?

Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press

Making this trade means the Lakers do not expect Rajon Rondo to return after opting out of his contract. His play in the bubble after returning from a broken thumb was excellent, in addition to being the leading ball handler on the other unit, he showed the value of having another playmaker on the field with James.

Although Green was sent to Oklahoma City for Schroder, it was a preventative step to fill the void left by Rondo.

Schroder had a good regular season coming off the bench for the Thunder and was part of their three-guard final lineup where he averaged 18.9 point pr. fight and shot a career high off the field (46.9 percent) and three (38.5 percent). Last season he shot 41.4 percent on catch-and-shoot three on 3.6 attempts. Meanwhile, Rondo shot 39.3 percent on catch-and-shoot three in just 1.3 attempts.

Schroder is a little more efficient in pick-and-rolls. According to Synergy Sports Technology, he had a better point per. Possession mark in pick-and-rolls than Rondo in the past year (0.912 vs. 0.901). And that is without having such a good pick-and-roll partner as Anthony Davis.

Another big bonus with this trade: the Lakers are getting younger. Schroder is 27 and starting to get into his prime. With several of their draft picks on their way to New Orleans via the Davis deal, this is one of the few chances they have of getting a young player more in line with Davis’ timeline.

Danny Green’s replacement

Losing Green in the Schroder deal created a need for a three-and-D wing, and this is where the Matthews signing comes in after opting out of a $ 2.7 million deal in Milwaukee.

With Green scheduled to earn $ 15.4 million in the final year of his deal, this is a value pickup for the Lakers. Both Green and Matthews are valuable catch-and-shoot players with the ability to defend themselves in the perimeter, and they also put up similar numbers per game. NBA.com:

MPG

PPG

FG%

3P%

3PA

Catch-and-shoot 3P%

Danny Green

24.8

8.0

41.6%

36.7%

4.8

36.9%

Wesley Matthews

24.4

7.4

39.6%

36.4%

4.4

37.7%

Green is a little taller (6’6 “) than Matthews (6’4”) and they both bring similar energy defensively. The beauty of the Lakers is that they were able to replace Green at such a low cost that it allowed them to pull off another big move.

A surprise signature

Ashley Landis / Associated Press

It caught almost everyone on guard as the Lakers teased Harrell from the Clippers to fill the gap when Dwight Howard traveled to Philadelphia.

The market for Harrell dropped dramatically after his poor showing in the bubble, but that hardly represents who he is as a player. He missed most of the mini-training camp and much of the seeding game after his grandmother’s death. He never had a chance to get his feet under him or get back in shape.

However, Harrell had a good regular season for the Clippers. He continued his four-year streak of sending a career-high score (18.6 PPG), and he also added a career-high 7.1 rebounds per game. Fight while shooting 58 percent off the field.

For the Lakers, he provides an even more dynamic rolling opportunity than Howard when he recorded the third-largest pick-and-roll points per game. Possession of roll men (1.31). His ability to roll should allow him and Schroder to form a very effective tandem, just as he had with Lou Williams across the hall.

Harrell will likely continue to come off the bench, but with Davis’ ability to shoot, they can play together. This signing will also allow head coach Frank Vogel to rest Davis for longer stretches without giving up too much on the offensive end. In a season with such a rapid turnaround, it cannot be overestimated.

There’s also the added bonus of weakening one of their best rivals by stealing Harrell from the Clippers.

The Lakers are probably far from finished, as Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Avery Bradley are unlimited free agents, and losing one or both would be a blow. Caldwell-Pope was another three-and-D flute player who produced at a high level both in the regular season and the playoffs. Bradley sat out of the bubble and his presence was missed as he was the Lakers’ best one-on-one perimeter defender. It is also possible that General Manager Rob Pelinka has another trick up his sleeve.

The Lakers were locked in defensively last season and it showed when they finished third in defensive rating. This offseason, they have prioritized offense and removed some of that pressure from their stars.

For another important move alone, the Lakers’ defense is likely to take a step back, but it will not be nearly as big as the step forward that the offense will take. On day 1 with free agency, the NBA champions improved their list while weakening one of their major threats.

The Lakers could have chosen to just run it back, but instead of resting on their laurels, they became younger and more explosive. These moves have put them on the right track to repeat again in 2021.

Mo Dakhil spent six years with the Los Angeles Clippers and two years with the San Antonio Spurs as video coordinator as well as three years with the Australian men’s national team. Follow him on Twitter, @MoDakhil_NBA.




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