Despite falling short in their first playoff series since 2013, the New York Knicks are headed for one of the more anticipated offseasons in recent franchise history.
With Immanuel Quickley, Julius Randle, Mitchell Robinson, and RJ Barrett in house, their future is a bright one.
But a lot of that will be determined by who the team manages to bring in this offseason. Whether in the draft, free agency, or via trade, there’s a high expectation that the Knicks will swing big this summer.
One name that’s frequented all rumors and reporting is Los Angeles Lakers guard Dennis Schroder.
After a disappointing showing in the playoffs, his future with the team has become more of a question mark.
Schroder finished his eighth NBA season averaging 15.4 points, 5.8 assists, 3.5 rebounds, and 1.1 steals per game.
Now an unrestricted free agent, would he make sense for a New York Knicks team in desperate need of a point guard?
It’s possible there’s a looming interest between both sides.
Schroder Eyeing New York?
In his latest reporting for Bleacher Report, Rival NBA Execs Predict Shake-ups If Lakers Can’t Save Themselves, Jake Fischer touched on a number of pending issues for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Admittedly, this was written prior to their season-ending loss to the Phoenix Suns, but the implications are there.
When it came to Dennis Schroder, who notably turned down a four-year, $84-million extension to remain in Los Angeles, Fischer reported that there’s already talks of the guard possibly landing with the New York Knicks:
There’s believed to be mutual interest, sources said. The Knicks are one of only seven teams with significant cap space this summer, but a sign-and-trade would permit Schroder and the Lakers far more creative possibilities.
As he suggests, the Lakers might explore sign-and-trade deals with Schroder if there’s a consensus that he’s not an ideal fit moving forward. But it’s unclear what New York has (if anything) that would interest them.
ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski also mentioned the Knicks as a team to watch in regards to Schroder’s pending free agency on the latest episode of his podcast, The Woj Pod:
Teams that are looking at point guards, whether it’s Chicago, New York. Pretty good point guard class out there in free agency. Some interesting players and some teams with some needs.
The Bulls are also a team that’s expected to compete with the Knicks for Lonzo Ball’s services as well. Expect those two franchises to head the push for top point guard talent this offseason.
Schroder Wants a Big Payday
As is often the case with any free agency, it will ultimately come down to price.
The Los Angeles Lakers likely have a ceiling to what they would pay to keep Dennis Schroder, and whether that’s higher or lower than any number the New York Knicks would be willing to offer is to be determined.
But trust that the 27-year old is looking to maximize on a lucrative deal this summer.
Most were shocked when he turned down that Lakers’ extension offer for four years and $84-million. But as Wojnarowski put it, and Schroder likely very well knows, he can command even more in free agency.
Particularly from the Lakers, who walked themselves into a corner by trading for the guard last offseason:
You’re going to pay Dennis Schroder, if you want to keep him, you’re probably going to pay him anywhere from $22 to $24 million a year. That’s how it’s going to be. That’s what you signed up for here. Like I said, they can’t replace him [with] a player of his [caliber].
The Knicks are slated to lead the league in open cap space this summer, so any and all players looking to get paid by their current teams will likely use them as leverage in contract discussions.
Still, New York presents a viable fall-back plan for Dennis Schroder, should the Lakers opt to let him walk.
He’d be a no-brainer upgrade over Elfrid Payton, and with Derrick Rose and Frank Ntilikina entering their own free agency, could very well face little competition for the starting spot.
Whether they’d pay him over $20-million a year or more to do that is unclear.