Nick Young says Lakers would’ve eliminated Nuggets had they picked Dennis Schroder over Gabe Vincent in offseason

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read

Former Los Angeles Lakers player Nick Young believes that the team would have eliminated the Denver Nuggets in the first round of the 2024 NBA Playoffs if it had kept Dennis Schroder on the roster this past offseason instead of signing guard Gabe Vincent.

Schroder, who was a part of the Lakers team that made the Western Conference Finals last season, left the team in free agency to sign with the Toronto Raptors. He didn’t end up spending the full season in Toronto, as the team shipped him to the Brooklyn Nets in a trade for guard Spencer Dinwiddie.

Ironically, Dinwiddie was bought out by Toronto and ended up joining the Lakers in the middle of the 2023-24 regular season.

Schroder finished the regular season averaging 14.0 points, 3.0 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game, but the Nets did not make the playoffs in the Eastern Conference.

As for Vincent, the 2023-24 campaign went far from how the guard would have wanted, as he missed most of the regular season with a knee injury.

Vincent was able to return late in the season and play in the playoffs, but he didn’t have the same success that he did with the Miami Heat earlier in his career.

During the Lakers’ first-round series with Denver, Vincent averaged just 1.4 points, 1.6 rebounds and 0.6 assists in 13.8 minutes per game. It marked a massive decline from his role and production with Miami last season, when he averaged 12.7 points in 30.5 minutes per game across 22 playoff appearances.

It’s possible that the Lakers’ regular season and playoff run might have looked different with Schroder on the roster, but it would have been impossible for the team to know Vincent was going to get injured and miss so much time.

Ultimately, the Lakers had their chances in the first round against Denver, leading at halftime in every game, but they failed to close out the defending champions too often.

It’ll be interesting to see how Vincent’s future with the Lakers plays out this coming offseason.

He signed a three-year, $33 million deal last offseason, but it’s possible that Los Angeles will consider using him as a trade chip to upgrade the roster after taking a step back in terms of how far it advanced in the playoffs in the 2023-24 season.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.