Lakers ‘Dodged Bullet’ by Not Signing Player to New Deal, per Former Exec

dennis schroder

Getty Frank Vogel talking to Los Angeles Lakers players.

One of the biggest storylines to keep an eye on for the Los Angeles Lakers this offseason is what will happen with Dennis Schroder. The starting guard is on an expiring contract and recently made it clear that he won’t be entertaining any contract offers until the offseason, even the reported four-year, $80-plus million deal the Lakers reportedly offered. Schroder isn’t an All-Star, but he’s only 27 and a very good player who could help a lot of teams.

However, he hasn’t been having a career year. He’s only averaging 15.1 points a game  (down from 18.9 points last year) and hitting just 32.7% of his 3-point attempts. Those aren’t the numbers you want from a guy who is supposed to get paid around $20 million a year.

Former NBA executive John Hollinger wrote in The Athletic that the Lakers might be happy down the road that Schroder didn’t sign the offer they made him:

With Schroder becoming an unrestricted free agent after the season, the Lakers even offered him a four-year extension in the ballpark of $20 million a year, according to a report by the New York Times’ Marc Stein. (The maximum L.A. can offer right now is $83.3 million over four years, plus another $10.7 million in incentives.)

That might be a dodged bullet for L.A. considering how it’s gone so far. While Schröder hasn’t been disastrous, neither has he jumped off the page as a player worthy of that pay bracket. With a PER of 13.3 and meh defensive impact, he’s played more like a midlevel exception guy.

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Lakers Will Likely Still Try to Sign Schroder

Schroder’s numbers haven’t been elite, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been important. It’s clear that he benefits the team: He missed four games earlier in the season and the team lost all four, despite having LeBron James for those games.

Schroder’s the Lakers’ third-leading scorer and a pesky defender. When they traded for him, the intent was to keep him long-term. Considering the fact that the team has already reportedly made him an offer, it’s hard to imagine they won’t try to give him a new contract this offseason.

Will Schroder Want to Stay?

It didn’t take long for Schroder to express interest in staying with the Lakers. He even went so far as to say he’d like to be with the team long-term. However, his tone recently changed when he said that he’s going to wait until the offseason to negotiate. So what went wrong?

What likely happened is that Schroder wasn’t happy with what the Lakers offered him. If the previously mentioned report from Stein is true, they offered him around $20 million a year. That’d be a big boost over the $15.5 million he’s making right now.

That said, he clearly values himself more. He wants to stay in Los Angeles and even bought a house about 20 miles from Staples Center. He gets along with his teammates and has been a good fit. The problem is that the Lakers might not want to give him more than $20 million a year, and there are plenty of teams with cap space available this summer.

Money could end up being what drives the two sides apart.

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