Los Angeles Lakers point guard Dennis Schroder has made it clear on more than one occasion that he wants to stay with the team following the NBA season. However, recent evidence indicates that Schroder’s stance has changed to some degree. The veteran reportedly just turned down a 4-year, $84 million contract extension from Los Angeles.
Adam Wells of Bleacher Report transcribed the rumor that was originally disclosed by ESPN’s Brian Windhorst. Via his podcast, Windhorst alluded to the extension and rejection by Schroder, while admitting that the full details of the extension are unknown.
“What I have been told, and this rumor is pretty widely out there so I doubt this is very surprising, is it the Lakers did indeed offer him that $84 million over four years,” Windhorst said. “Now this is where we get into gray area: Was it fully guaranteed? Was it partially guaranteed? Were there incentives?”
Given that Dennis Schroder did not agree to the contract extension, he is clearly taking a gamble on himself. It denotes that he wants to earn more money per year, whether it is from the Lakers or a different organization.
How much more money Schroder is seeking, however, remains to be seen. According to Blake Harper of Yardbarker, the German national reportedly wants to make well over $20 million per year. The Lakers’ contract extension technically met those standards, but the offer was apparently not generous enough for Schroder.
One cannot help but wonder if the point guard is toying with the Lakers a bit. Per Ron Gutterman of Lakers Nation, Schroder knows he was involved in trade talks last week. At the time, he was dangled by L.A. in their pursuit for Toronto Raptors’ floor general Kyle Lowry.
On the other hand, the fact the 27-year-old declined the extension could simply boil down to him wanting to mull over his options. Schroder has never been a free agent before, so he is likely curious as to what his maximum market value could be given his on the court production. Other teams will likely be linked to him in NBA rumors as free agency approaches.
Speaking of which, the veteran has been a solid two-way player for the Lakers this season. Scattered across 43 starts, Dennis the Menace is averaging 15.4 points, 3.5 rebounds, 4.9 assists, and 1.2 steals per contest.
The international player is amid the final year of 4-year, $70 million dollar contract that was originally agreed to while he was with the Atlanta Hawks. In terms of the 2020-21 campaign, the wiry guard is making $15.5 million.
Although Schroder did not agree to the Lakers’ contract extension, it is not a foregone conclusion he is leaving after the season concludes. Nevertheless, the guard has made it crystal clear that the Lakers’ front office will need to fatten their offer in order to retain him. Regardless, the point guard position will be one to watch in NBA rumors this offseason for the Lakers.
Even for a rich team like the Lakers, though, upping the ante is going to be easier said than done. Per Wells, superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis are already earning max contracts. Additionally, forward Kyle Kuzma is slated to rake in $13 million a year for the next two years.
Thus, signing the point guard to an even larger scale deal would stretch the team’s budget quite a bit. Those three commitments are not skimpy ones by any stretch of the imagination.
Dennis Schroder’s best bet at the time being is to continue to play well like he has and carry it over into the postseason. If he can fulfill his end of the bargain, the Lakers may concede and give their man what he wants. He will be a name to watch in NBA rumors in free agency as a result.