NBA Rumors: Analyzing Buzz Surrounding Marc Gasol, Dennis Schroder and More
The NBA trade deadline has come and gone, and for the most part, teams will carry the rosters they have into the final stretch and into the postseason.
Rosters aren't 100 percent static, of course, as post-deadline buyouts could still be coming down the pike. The Los Angeles Lakers, for example, recently added center Andre Drummond following his buyout settlement with the Cleveland Cavaliers. It was a significant move that has both the team and the player excited.
"I think the level of excitement for me is at an all-time high," Drummond said, per ESPN's Dave McMenamin.
Drummond is expected to start at center for Los Angeles on Wednesday in place of Marc Gasol. Could the switch be permanent? There has been some speculation that Gasol could, in turn, be nearing his own buyout.
Here, we'll dive into Gasol's situation and some of the other latest NBA buzz.
Lakers 'Unlikely' to Buy out Gasol
While Drummond is likely to significantly cut into Gasol's playing time, some around the league have speculated that Gasol could be pushed off Los Angeles' roster altogether—eventually.
"As much as Marc Gasol's subpar contributions helped lead Los Angeles to pursue Drummond, Gasol remains under contract," Bleacher Report's Jake Fischer wrote. "There remains some speculation from rival executives that he could now come to a buyout agreement with the Lakers."
While there could indeed come a point where the Lakers no longer desire to hold a place for Gasol, that doesn't appear to be on the immediate horizon.
"Gasol is unlikely to be waived by the Lakers, sources said," The Athletic's Jovan Buha wrote.
It's true that Gasol hasn't been a major contributor this season—he's averaged less than 20 minutes—it's also true that experienced depth can be invaluable in the postseason.
With injuries to Anthony Davis and LeBron James impacting this season, the Lakers know all too well how quickly depth can be tested. Gasol knows the team and the system, so there's no reason for L.A. to dump him unless it becomes absolutely necessary.
Dennis Schroder Rejected Contract Offer Before Trade Deadline
Gasol is likely to be around for the immediate future. So is Dennis Schroder, though this nearly wasn't the case. According to Buha and Bill Oram of The Athletic, L.A. was hoping to trade Schroder and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope for Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry but wouldn't part with the final piece needed to solidify a trade:
"Multiple sources told The Athletic that the Lakers and Raptors discussed a trade that would have sent both members of Los Angeles' starting backcourt, Dennis Schröder and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and likely some draft compensation to Toronto for Lowry. Throughout Thursday morning, sources said, the sticking point was the inclusion of Talen Horton-Tucker."
According to ESPN's Brian Windhorst, Schroder's inclusion in the package was a result of him rejecting a long-term offer from the Lakers:
"The most that Schroder can extend for under his current contract is four years, $84 million," Windhorst said on the Hoop Collective podcast. "What I have been told is the Lakers did indeed offer him that $84 million over four years ... and he said no. He said no to that extension. And subsequently the Lakers offered him in trade for Kyle Lowry."
Lowry ended up staying in Toronto, and Schroder remains with the Lakers for now. He's only under contract through this season, though, and will likely depart or look to re-sign as a free agent in the offseason.
Warriors Rejected Spencer Dinwiddie Trade
Another trade that didn't happen at the deadline involved Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie.
The 27-year-old Dinwiddie has been out since December with a partially torn ACL, but Brooklyn was still hopeful that it could move him at the deadline. According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, one move it explored was a trade for Kelly Oubre Jr.
The Warriors rejected the deal because, according to Stein, they're still looking to make the postseason:
"Among the options they explored, I’m told, was sending Dinwiddie to Golden State for Kelly Oubre. Golden State rejected those overtures because it is still desperate to make the playoffs. While numerous Oubre trade scenarios came up, Golden State was not going to trade him for someone who couldn’t help the team in the short term."
Naturally, this is a logical approach for a team fixated on the current season. Any team dealing for Dinwiddie would be doing so with the 2021-22 season in mind. That season would also likely be used as an evaluation period for Dinwiddie, who will become an unrestricted free agent the following offseason.
Golden State, it seems, is interested in winning sooner rather than later.
*Contract information via Spotrac.