The Los Angeles Lakers swung for the fences with hours left on the NBA trade deadline clock but were unable to pry Kyle Lowry away from the Toronto Raptors. According to The Athletic’s Jovan Buha and Bill Oram, the Lakers offered the Raptors a combination of Dennis Schroder, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and draft picks in exchange for Lowry. The Raptors were holding out for Talen Horton-Tucker, but the Lakers were not willing to include the swingman in the deal.
“Multiple sources told The Athletic that the Lakers and Raptors discussed a trade that would have sent both members of Los Angeles’ starting backcourt, Dennis Schröder and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and likely some draft compensation to Toronto for Lowry,” Buha and Oram detailed. “Throughout Thursday morning, sources said, the sticking point was the inclusion of Talen Horton-Tucker. The same sources said that, Rob Pelinka, the Lakers’ vice president of basketball operations, insisted that price was too high for the 35-year-old Lowry, and that he was not willing to trade Horton-Tucker, the 20-year-old combo guard who has emerged as a valuable rotation player for the Lakers in his second season.”
ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported the Lakers’ offer for Lowry was Schroder, Matthews and Caldwell-Pope. The Lakers opted to stick with Horton-Tucker who will hit restricted free agency this offseason.
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The Lakers & Schroder Are ‘Far Apart’ on a Potential Contract Extension
The story beyond the Lakers’ offer is that it shows where their negotiations are with Schroder who is also slated to be a free agent. According to Buha and Oram, the Lakers and Schroder are “far apart” on a potential contract extension as the point guard is seeking an annual salary north of $20 million.
“But sources said the sides remain far apart in extension negotiations, with Schröder, who is making $15.5 million in the final year of a four-year contract, seeking a multi-year extension that would pay him more than $20 million per year,” The Athletic detailed. “That gap contributed to the Lakers’ willingness to include Schröder in trade talks.”
After the trade deadline, Schroder provided a blunt assessment of the situation admitting that his preference is to test free agency. Schroder left the door open to signing with another team.
“I mean, it’s a crazy business,” Schröder said, per Silver Screen and Roll. “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. …After eight years, it’s my first time seeing what other people, other clubs have interest in me. 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.”
The Lakers Are Unlikely to Pursue Lowry in Free Agency
Given Lowry will also be a free agent, there is likely some curiosity among Lakers fans as to whether the team could attempt to sign the six-time All-Star this summer. The Lakers will not have the cap room to sign Lowry meaning the point guard would likely have to orchestrate a sign-and-trade to Los Angeles.
The challenge is Schroder will also be a free agent, and the team needed his salary to be included in the deal to make a trade possible. The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Keith Pompey reported Lowry is seeking a minimum of a two-year, $50 million contract, well out of the team’s price range.
The Lakers’ offseason is expected to be busy with the team trying to retain several of their own key free agents Horton-Tucker, Schroder and Alex Caruso. Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri alluded to the team being close to trading Lowry at the deadline.
“Honestly, we didn’t know which way it was going to go,” Ujiri noted, per ESPN.com. “Because we’ve really talked about looking at this team in every direction that it could go. We came to a point where we were comfortable with any direction that it went.”