The Los Angeles Lakers would like to lock up Dennis Schroder long-term but the two sides are reportedly “far apart” on an extension.
The Lakers traded for Schroder during the offseason and he’s become an integral part of the team, taking over a starting role, averaging 15.4 points, 4.0 assists and 3.5 rebounds. He’s also a pest on the defensive end of the floor, which has helped the Lakers maintain the best defensive rating in the league.
The problem is that Schroder is in the final year of his contract, and while he’d like to return to the Lakers, he also wants to see what his options are.
“I mean, it’s a crazy business,” Schroder told reporters on Thursday. “At the end of the day, I want to play my season out. I said that I want to see my options. I for sure want to be a Laker, but I still want to see my options.”
Schroder is seeking a multi-year extension that would pay him more than $20 million per year, per The Athletic. That does not sound like a number the Lakers are comfortable — or even capable — of paying him at this point. Schroder rejected the Lakers’ two-year, $33.4 million contract extension offer prior to the season.
Stalled Contract Talks Led to Schroder Being Trade Piece
In a somewhat surprising turn of events, Schroder was a key part of trade talks for the Lakers at the deadline, which was because of the impasse in contract talks, per The Athletic.
The Lakers were “seriously engaged” Raptors guard Kyle Lowry, with Schroder functioning as a key piece of the deal. Schroder, who is playing on his third NBA team, did not take the rumors personally.
“At the end of the day we’re playing basketball, and that’s the best job you can have. So wherever you’re doing it, whatever organization you’re in, you’re blessed. My family is healthy, I’ve got two kids, a wife, my family at home in Germany, they’re healthy, so I’m blessed,” Schroder said.
“Wherever I go I’m going to be happy with it. I’m 27 years old, it’s my eighth year, and it’s a business. At the end of the day, I’m happy with what I’m doing. Of course, with the Lakers organization, I understand it’s business, it’s whatever. I own a team in Germany, and (as owner) I’ve got to do the best what’s right for me for sure, but I want to make sure it’s fair for the other players too. And that’s all I say all the time. It needs to be fair for both sides, and I’m going to stay with that.”
Schroder Intends to Test Free Agency
There’s still much to play out this season but Schroder seems set on at least testing free agency to see what his market value is. The 27-year-old inked an extension with the Hawks in 2016 that has paid him $15.5 million per season.
“After eight years, it’s my first time seeing what other people, other clubs have interest in me,” Schroder said. “That’s what I said too, but nobody mentioned that in the media. Everybody’s saying I just want to sign long-term with the Lakers.”
With Anthony Davis and LeBron James nursing injuries, Schroder has taken on a key role for the Lakers, giving him an opportunity to showcase his skill set.