Back during the NBA’s offseason, the Los Angeles Lakers looked like they significantly upgraded their roster. They landed a really good point guard in Dennis Schroder and added some other key role players. Heading into the season, the defending champions were supposed to be better and were widely considered the favorites to win it all again.
The Lakers’ early exit in the playoffs will widely be blamed on their injury issues but it goes even further than that. The team’s offseason additions just didn’t show up when they needed them to. When they traded for Schroder, he came with the demand that he starts. The Lakers acquiesced and put him in the starting lineup. While he did have some good moments, he wasn’t good in the playoffs but the team was already wanting to move on much earlier, according to ESPN’s Romona Shelburne.
“The Lakers acceded to his request to start, and continued negotiating with his representatives on a rich contract extension,” Shelburne wrote. “But his play on the court frustrated some in the organization, according to sources. By the trade deadline, L.A. was including him in trade discussions for Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry.”
This isn’t the first we’ve heard of Schroder being included in trade talks for Lowry but it hasn’t been reported that the Lakers are frustrated with the guard. If true, that doesn’t bode well for his future with the team.
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Schroder Wants to Return
Whether or not Schroder returns to the Lakers will likely be decided by the team. On a number of occasions, the guard has said he’d like to stay with the team past this season. He even reiterated that after the season ended.
“I wanna be here and win a championship,” Schroder recently said after the Game 6 loss to the Phoenix Suns. “That’s not even a question. And it wasn’t about money, because everyone who knows me knows it’s not about money, either. Of course, we want to be fair. … End of the day, if everything is good, we gonna come back and win a championship next year.”
According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, the Lakers already offered the guard four-year at $84 million. That’s a big number for the guard to turn down in hopes that he’d get more. After his lackluster playoff performance, it’s fair to question if Los Angeles even wants to give him the $84 million anymore, let alone more.
Will Lakers Want Schroder Back?
Based on the first half of the season, it’s easy to understand why the Lakers made Schroder an offer. He was their third-best player and the team was better when he played. However, two stints in the NBA’s health and safety protocols and a number of inconsistent performances will at least cause Los Angeles to rethink how much they want him back.
There’s no way they should pay him anywhere close to $100 million over four years. Schroder didn’t show enough during his lone season with the Lakers to warrant that kind of payday. It’s hard to imagine any other team will offer him that. In the end, Schroder could end up considering taking the $84 million deal the Lakers previously offered if they’re even still interested.