The Lakers were open to dealing point guard Dennis Schröder and longtime wing Kentavious Caldwell-Pope for veteran Raptors guard Kyle Lowry ahead of today’s trade deadline, but were resistant to including ascendant shooting guard Talen Horton-Tucker in a deal, according to Jovan Buha and Bill Oram of The Athletic.
Buha and Oram note that Schroder, KCP, and “some draft compensation” were being discussed in exchange for the six-time Toronto All-Star. Los Angeles team president Rob Pelinka apparently balked at including Horton-Tucker, a promising 20-year-old second-year combo guard.
The Lakers continue to negotiate a possible long-term contract extension with starting point guard Schröder, currently earning $15.5MM in the last season of an expiring four-year deal, but remain far apart in those talks. The 27-year-old veteran is hoping to net at least $20MM annually, according to Buha and Oram, who note that this price tag contributed to the front office being open to moving Schröder in a deal for Lowry.
The Lakers’ willingness to trade valuable two-way swingman Caldwell-Pope appear to be about prioritizing re-signing Horton-Tucker and point guard Alex Caruso during the 2021 offseason. A league source tells Buha and Oram that both players could garner deals worth the full mid-level exception, which projects to be worth more than $9.5MM next season.
With Schröder now sticking with LA through the trade deadline, sources tell Buha and Oram that the club hopes to re-sign the point guard this summer, too.
The Lakers currently still have two open roster spots, and are going to use the buyout market to acquire new additions heading into the home stretch of the season. Los Angeles appears to be one of the top finalists in the race to acquire 27-year-old Cavaliers center Andre Drummond, a two-time All-Star, once he finalizes his expected buyout with Cleveland. In addition to a veteran center, Buha and Oram anticipate that the Lakers will seek a defensive-oriented free agent swingman for their other available roster position.
In other Lakers news, starting center Marc Gasol will be back on the court for the injury-depleted club tonight against the Sixers, Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times tweets. The veteran big man will only be allowed to play about 15 minutes tonight during his first game action this month, after being placed in the NBA’s coronavirus-related health and safety protocols.