Though Dennis Schroder hasn’t had his best overall season, he’s clearly becoming a very important player for the Los Angeles Lakers. The team in 36-23 with him, and 1-7 without him. The record could get even worse as the guard is likely to miss the rest of the regular season.
When the Lakers first traded for him, the hope was to sign him to a long-term contract before the season is over. The two sides have had some setbacks in negotiations and Schroder has made it clear that he’s waiting until the offseason to sign a new deal. That doesn’t mean he won’t stay in Los Angeles, but it’s certainly not a guarantee. He’s going to be one of the best point guards available in free agency and should have plenty of suitors.
It appears the Chicago Bulls will provide some serious competition for the Lakers, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
“Point guard is going to be at a premium for them,” Wojnarowski said on ESPN’s “NBA Countdown,” via Bleacher Report.
Wojnarowski went onto reveal that Schroder is a potential target for Chicago this offseason. Despite Zach LaVine having an excellent season and the addition of Nikola Vucevic, the Bulls just aren’t very good right now. They need some serious help if they are to return to being one of the top franchises in the NBA. Schroder is a player who could make a difference for them, but he’s going to want to get paid.
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Will Lakers Be Able to Retain Schroder?
Schroder hasn’t given the Lakers any reason to not want to re-sign him this offseason. They are better when he’s on the court, and he’s a big reason they were able to stay afloat while LeBron James and Anthony Davis were injured. Los Angeles would be wise to try and keep him this offseason.
Obviously, they’ll be facing some competition for his services, but he’s already stated on multiple occasions that he’d like to stay with the team long term. However, he could be really expensive. The rumored number has been over $20 million a year. That might be steep for the Lakers considering they have to pay LeBron and Davis max deals. If the team signs Schroder, they will likely have to move on from Andre Drummond, who is also a free agent. Based on how the two have played this season, the Lakers would almost certainly prefer to keep Schroder.
Should Lakers Be Concerned Over Schroder’s Absence?
While LeBron and Davis are the team’s two best players, they appear incapable of winning without Schroder. The team hasn’t invested much in having good point guard depth, so they really need him around. Unfortunately, he’ll most likely miss the rest of the regular season due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols.
He missed time for the same reason earlier in the season, and the Lakers looked really bad. Now they look even worse despite still having Davis. At worst, the team will have to play in the play-in tournament unless they start winning again, but they should have Schroder back for those games.