- The addition of Dennis Schroder only furthers the cloud of doubt surrounding Russell Westbrook‘s future with the team, wrote Kyle Goon of the Daily News. The Lakers now have Schroder, Westbrook and Patrick Beverley as guards, with Austin Reaves on the rise.
- Kendrick Nunn is expected to be available after missing last season with an injury, and newcomer Lonnie Walker IV could also contribute — giving the Lakers a glut of capable guards.
- The signing of Schroder gives LA a dozen players with guaranteed contracts, with Reaves and Wenyen Gabriel on non-guaranteed deals.
- LeBron James is expected to host a players-only minicamp ahead of actual training camp, with San Diego being the most likely destination, per Marc Stein of The Stein Line. Full attendance is expected, Stein added.
“Most teams don’t have enough strong defenders that they can just put one guy on each of these guys,” Bickerstaff said, via Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. “We can go out and manipulate the game. We play an unselfish, up-tempo ball-movement type of game. The fourth quarter is where it’s really gonna get fun, where you get to slow the game down a little bit and then you get to play that chess match.
“But there’s so many threats on the floor that our guys have and how they present themselves. And a lot of times it’s just going to be take what the defense gives you because we know that guy can make you pay.”
President of basketball operations Koby Altman is equally excited.
“We were excited about the team coming back already. If we weren’t able to get this transaction done, we were excited about what we had coming back. But when the opportunity presented itself, absolutely Donovan takes us to another level,” Altman said. “It makes Caris more dangerous. It makes Darius more dangerous. It helps Evan. I can’t wait to see what that looks like.
“It gives us an entirely different dynamic. Of course, you’re thinking about ‘What if we had Donovan in that Atlanta Hawks (play-in) game?’ Hopefully it won’t be that this year.”
- In case you missed it, Marc Stein of The Stein Line listed the Cavs as No. 9 in his training camp power rankings. You can read that full post right here.
One opposing executive thinks the Kings could be a destination for Westbrook if the Kings get off to a bad start, per Sean Deveney of Heavy.com.
“I think, too, if the season gets going and things get off to a rough start somewhere, you can take advantage with a Russ trade,” the executive said, via Deveney. “That is one reason the Lakers are not feeling too much pressure to do this now — there might be a slightly better market once the year gets going. Sacramento is a good example. They come stumbling out of the gate, they will look to get younger.
“So you can build something that is Westbrook and the 2027 pick for Harrison Barnes and Richaun Holmes and some salary cap filler, Alex Len and a couple of guys. The Kings want to get off Holmes’ contract, Barnes is still a productive veteran and the Kings can deal with Russ for one year before he expires.”