He is back and this time, he says, he is on a mission.
Former Lakers guard Dennis Schroder became current Lakers guard Dennis Schroder on Friday, agreeing to an NBA contract to return to the team after he spent a decidedly tumultuous 2020-21 season in purple-and-gold. That was followed by an even more tumultuous 2021-22 season split between Boston and Houston, which left him seemingly unemployable—he was among the two or three biggest free-agent names still on the market here in mid-September.
Schroder got a one-year deal worth the minimum $2.6 million, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
The news came after Schroder and the German national team was eliminated from the 2022 EuroBasket competition with a loss to Spain in the semifinals. Despite the sting of that loss, Schroder took a moment to break his silence on his new contract with L.A.
He posted on Instagram: “This past year didn’t feel right. I felt misunderstood & nobody knew the story! I’m coming back to the biggest organization to make sh*t right! I hope LakerNation going to support me every single day! I will give everything I have every single day!”
Schroder Underwent Humbling Public Ordeal on Contract
Even a casual Lakers fan—or NBA fan for that matter—knows the saga Schroder was referencing in his post, one that began when he was traded to the Lakers in the 2020 offseason, following the team’s championship run in the league’s Orlando bubble. The Lakers made Schroder an offer of $33 million for a two-year extension ahead of the season, but he turned that down.
The Lakers then offered $84 million over four years to Schroder later to the season, which he turned down, and though some reports had him seeking a contract more in the range of $100 million for four years, he later said he turned down the deal because he was not “comfortable” with his situation in Los Angeles.
But the Lakers and Schroder flamed out late in the season and in the playoffs, and Schroder’s value collapsed, despite decent enough (15.4 points, 5.8 assists) numbers in the regular season. Unable to find a lucrative contract, he signed a one-year, $5.9 million deal with Boston, which eventually traded him to the lowly Houston Rockets.
Thus, Schroder’s value tumbled even further, and he could not get a job for most of this summer. His value did not bounce back until this past month, when Schroder proved to be one of the top stars of the EuroBasket tournament, leading Germany (projected to finish in the No. 9-10 range) to a possible Top 3 finish. Schroder carried a sizable load, averaging 21.6 points (sixth in the tournament) and 7.3 assists (fourth in the tournament).
Schroder Signing a Prelude to Westbrook Trade?
The addition of Schroder to the roster gives the Lakers what can only be described as an odd mix of players, especially in the backcourt. Russell Westbrook, who spent last season filling in for Schroder as the Lakers’ top pariah, is still on hand, with new coach Darvin Ham promising to use him differently. Westbrook’s one-time sworn enemy, Patrick Beverley, is also on the depth chart.
Putting Schroder into the group of point guards gives the Lakers three strong and sometimes chafing personalities at the position.
That’s led to some speculation that Westbrook could soon be on the way out. He’s been at the top of the trade-rumor chart all summer and though any of Westbrook, Beverley and Schroder can also play off guard, the Schroder signing could very well portend an upcoming move on Westbrook, too.