After a season that ended in disappointment, it will be very interesting to see how the Los Angeles Lakers attack the offseason. When the team was healthy, they started off the season very strong and had a 21-6 record. They were the top seed in the Western Conference but nose-dived all the way down to the seventh seed after a run of injuries to Anthony Davis and LeBron James.
Vice president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka could look at how the Lakers started the season and decide to run it back with mostly the same squad. However, he could also decide to overhaul much of the roster. One of the top players to watch is Dennis Schroder. The veteran guard was supposed to a big part of the team’s future but his playoff struggles could’ve seriously hurt his value in Los Angeles’ eyes.
If the Lakers decide not to pursue another contract with Schroder, the New York Knicks are a team to watch. If Portland Trail Blazers superstar Damian Lillard requests a trade, the Knicks will heavily pursue him. If he’s not available, Ian Begley of SNY believes that Schroder will be among the players on their radar.
“If nothing materializes with Lillard, the Knicks have other options at point guard,” Begley wrote. “They can pursue free agents such as Kyle Lowry, Dennis Schroeder, Kendrick Nunn, Lonzo Ball or Chris Paul. They can also seek to trade for another point guard.
The Knicks could use an upgrade at point guard so Schroder would make a lot of sense for them.
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Do Lakers Want Schroder Back?
Schroder has proven to be a very good player in the past and did have some high points with the Lakers. He the team’s third-leading scorer with 15.4 points a game and they were mostly better when he was on the court. That said, his playoff struggles are very concerning. His zero-point Game 5 against the Phoenix Suns when Davis was out will not be quick to leave the team’s memories.
Schroder is expecting a massive payday and it’s easy to see why the Lakers would not be willing to give him one. He’s a really good player but he’s not good enough for a $100 million contract. Los Angeles will consider bringing him back but not at that price. The market will dictate how much he’s truly worth.
Schroder Said He Wants to Run It Back
It’s not clear how the Lakers feel about a possible Schroder return but the guard has made his hopes known. He’d still like to win a championship in Los Angeles.
“I read so many things on Instagram,” Schroder said after the Lakers’ season ended. “At the end of the day, it’s my eighth season in the NBA and I just wanted to make my own decision — one time, to where I can decide where I want to go. Just to say ‘I want to re-sign with the Lakers’ or ‘I want to go somewhere else.’ That’s the only thing.
“The Lakers, they didn’t do nothing to me. They’re great, they got the top-two players, everybody in the locker room is great, so, like I said, I want to be here and win a championship. That’s not even a question.”
This echoes much of what he’s said in the past. He wants to return to the team but he’s going to have to be flexible with his contract demands if he hopes to return.