Dennis Schroder is heading toward his first experience as an unrestricted free agent. A return to the Los Angeles Lakers remains high on the list, but the veteran point guard will explore his options. With that in mind, Schroder has dropped a big hint concerning his upcoming contract talks in free agency.
Schroder was among the several notable roster moves the Lakers made last offseason to energize another NBA title push.
However, Schroder provided stable offensive production throughout the season, especially after LeBron James and Anthony Davis suffered significant injuries. His contribution waned near the tail end of the year due to his extended absence on the health and safety protocol list.
Schroder returned in time for the playoffs, but his performance wavered as he struggled to find his footing. He averaged 14.3 points on 40.3% shooting from the floor and 31.9% from 3-point range. Schroder also put scored in the Game 5 blowout loss to the Phoenix Suns.
On top of that, reports also emerged detailing the Lakers’ internal frustration with his play. All that sets up an interesting offseason for the veteran point guard.
Dennis Schroder may have just confirmed he isn’t planning on a return to the Lakers
Schroder is heading into his first experience as an unrestricted free agent, positioning himself to cash in on a lucrative long-term deal.
As the 27-year-old preps to work through a busy offseason, Armin Andres, Vice President of German Basketball Federation, revealed the veteran point guard is hoping to garner a contract ranging from $100 million to $120 million.
“Dennis Schroeder has communicated this clearly: he wants 100, 120 million – which he will probably also get – and this sum insured cannot be insured on the normal market at the moment,” Andres said on Abteilung Basketball podcast
Schroder turned down the opportunity to compete for Germany’s men’s national basketball team in this summer’s Olympics to keep the focus entirely on securing his long-term NBA future. He doesn’t want the possibility of suffering an injury or hurt his chances of getting his preferred next contract.
His desired range is much higher than the four-year, $84 million extension offer from the Lakers he turned down. At the same time, Schroder voiced after the Lakers’ early playoff exit that he won’t base his upcoming free agency decision on money.
“Of course, you want to be fair, but not everything is about money for me and my family,” Schröder said via Silver Screen and Roll. “If everything is good, we’re going to come back and win a championship next year.”
If anything, the latest chatter gives the Lakers an indication of how much it may take to retain Schroder.
Los Angeles may explore other options
Schroder is near the top of the list for the Lakers‘ offseason plans as the front office must decide if he’s a piece to a championship-caliber roster.
Los Angeles holds his Bird Rights, which allows the team to go over the salary cap to re-sign him. However, the organization may balk at bringing him back due to his desired contract being out of their price range.
The Lakers could explore the trade market for another viable point guard, as Kyle Lowry may become a feasible option. Early reports indicate the franchise might pursue him again after a failed move before this past regular season’s trade deadline.
Schroder could help facilitate the transaction if he’s willing to be part of a sign-and-trade scenario to the Toronto Raptors. His involvement is entirely in his control, while the Lakers could also look to include Kyle Kuzma in the deal to help offset the financial impact of Lowry’s next potential contract.
The Lakers could also explore bringing aboard Spencer Dinwiddie, who is looking to play in his hometown. Dinwiddie will hit the open market this upcoming summer, and a sign-and-trade with the Brooklyn Nets may be a possible route.
Beyond all that, it’s quite clear the Lakers will have their options to revamp the roster if they go in another direction away from Schroder.