5. Dennis Schroder
Schroder departed Los Angeles for the Raptors in free agency. Toronto lost Fred VanVleet and signed the German point guard to a two-year deal worth $25.4 million to be his replacement.
The 30-year-old has been outstanding in the first eight games, but the Raptors are at a crossroads. They missed the playoffs in 2023 and have three key players headed toward free agency next summer. Toronto needs to choose a direction and fast.
If the Raptors blow it up, Schroder will likely be moved to a contender. He has proven he can win in Los Angeles and is comfortable playing off LeBron James and Anthony Davis. The Lakers could use his speed and playmaking to round out their roster even if he is not the perfect fit.
Dennis Schroder is a streaky shooter and far from a lockdown defender. He will compete hard and provide a spark. It has been a small sample size for Gabe Vincent, but Schroder looks like a better fit in Los Angeles, and the Lakers may be able to reacquire him on the cheap if the Raptors decide to rebuild.
Toronto could push for the playoffs, but other rebuilding squads will have veterans available. The Lakers could take a swing at another recently signed talent on a hefty contract.