The Los Angeles Lakers face a number of difficult decisions this offseason including Dennis Schroder’s free agency. Not everyone believes the Lakers should break the bank to keep Schroder in Los Angeles. Bleacher Report’s Grant Hughes placed Schroder on his list of riskiest free agents labeling the point guard a “low-end starter or a luxury backup.”
“No other organization should feel comfortable paying Schroder more than the $16 million per year he’s making this season,” Hughes explained. “His production is that of a low-end starter or a luxury backup, and that pay rate is just about right. It’d be a mistake for a suitor to try to match Schroder’s high salary expectations or view the Lakers’ possible willingness to overpay as an accurate reflection of value.”
The Lakers have struggled when Schroder has been absent, but it remains to be seen whether he will command a more lucrative deal from another team. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst previously reported Schroder turned down the Lakers’ four-year, $84 million extension, the maximum Los Angeles could offer the guard at the time. Schroder is averaging 15.5 points, 5.8 assists and 1.2 steals while shooting 33.5% from behind the arc this season.
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The Knicks & Bulls Are 2 Teams That Have Been Linked to Schroder
Schroder has already been linked to teams with cap space this summer including the Knicks and Bulls. SNY.TV’s Ian Begley reported in April that Schroder is one of several point guards on the Knicks’ “radar”.
“The Knicks face the Pelicans in New Orleans on Wednesday. So you will probably hear and read plenty about the future of Pelicans point guard Lonzo Ball, a potential Knicks target in free agency,” Begley explained. “But another lead guard on the Knicks’ schedule this week bears watching: Dennis Schroder. Schroder is among the players on New York’s radar as the club looks ahead to free agency, SNY has learned.”
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski recently reported on NBA Countdown that the Bulls have their eyes on Schroder as well as Lonzo Ball in free agency. These are just two of the teams that appear to have Schroder on their short-list with other franchises likely to show an interest when free agency begins.
“Point guard is going to be at a premium for them,” Wojnarowski noted, per Bleacher Report.
Schroder Is Expected to Return Prior to the Playoffs
Schroder last played for the Lakers on April 30th after being placed in the team’s COVID-19 protocol. The Lakers starting point guard is expected to return to the court just in time for the playoffs. Ahead of the Lakers’ final two regular-season games, Schroder uttered, “I’m back” on Instagram. Schroder has consistently emphasized he wants to remain with the Lakers but is looking for a “fair” deal.
“In eight years, I didn’t feel one time where I had to, you know, can sit down in the summer and just see the options,” Schroder noted in March, per Los Angeles Daily News. “So, we’re kind of, between these: Should we just sign the extension? Or should we wait until the summer? Because at the end of the day, I want to be a Laker for a long time. I always say I want it to be fair.”