The LA Lakers have moved through this season with their sole focus on securing a second straight NBA title. The Lakers have dealt with struggles along the way with injuries involving LeBron James and Anthony Davis, which have hampered that journey. It has also brought forth discussion around the possible massive financial commitment ahead.
Lakers secure their long-term future
Amid all the roster movement last offseason, the Lakers made some notabl3e decisions.
LA secured the foundation of their long-term future with Anthony Davis agreeing to a five-year, $190 million deal. That move was coupled with LeBron James electing to extend his contract one more year through the 2022-23 campaign.
General manager Rob Pelinka also made some big-splash additions through free agency and the trade market. One of those moves is expected to lead to a big payday ahead next offseason.
Lakers Prepared to Dish Out More Than $20 Million to Keep a Critical Piece
As the Lakers move through the 2020-21 season, the team has had some underlying questions concerning their long-term future.
At the front of the line in the discussion is guard Dennis Schroder’s contract situation as he’s in the final year of his four-year, $70 million deal. During a recent episode of The Woj Pod, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski voiced that the Lakers are prepared to pay Schroder over $20 million a year on his next contract.
“The Lakers are looking a little bit down the road,” Woj said. “Dennis Schroder, they’ve got to pay him this offseason. It’s going to cost them well over $20 million a year to keep him. Alex Caruso, they’re going to want to pay and keep him.”
There were initial reports that the Lakers would agree to an extension with Schroder back in February when the talks could officially begin. As the season continues to roll along, it’s looking more likely that it will bleed into the offseason.
In his first campaign with LA, Schroder has quickly fit into the puzzle as a significant factor. His tenure began with some concern with his desire to step in as the starting point guard, but he has worked well playing alongside LeBron James as the team’s primary ball handlers.
Schroder’s scoring is down from last season to 15.0 points per contest, but he’s been a consistent offensive contributor. That is especially the case with Anthony Davis out with an Achilles injury, and now with James dealing with a high-ankle sprain.
The 27-year-old will have the rest of the season to prove his worth toward securing a lucrative deal in LA.
Focus remains on push toward another NBA title
The Lakers are well aware of what lies ahead with Dennis Schroder’s contract situation, but their concerns remain first with this season.
LA entered the campaign as the clear-cut title favorites to repeat, but the team has been hit with the injury bug. Anthony Davis has missed the last several weeks due to precautions with his Achilles injury.
Meanwhile, LeBron James is sidelined for at least the next few weeks due to a right high-ankle sprain. The Lakers haven’t voiced significant concern as both players could return to the floor at some point next month.
LA also remains hopeful that the rest of their roster can pick up the slack without their star players. It has thrust Schroder and Kyle Kuzma into more prominent offensive roles. However, the Lakers have expectedly struggled without James and Davis leading the charge.
Since James suffered his injury, the team has lost their last three straight games, pushing them out of the second overall playoff spot in the West. The next several contests will be quite telling about where things will head with James and Davis still on the mend.