The Los Angeles Lakers are weighing whether to re-sign Dennis Schroder. If they don’t, general manager Rob Pelinka will look to execute a sign-and-trade for the 27-year old point guard rather than lose him for nothing.
After all: in the sign-and-trade era, anything is possible.
Re-signing Schroder may cost the Lakers upwards of $20-$25 million per season. Compared to other guards making that money, anything above $20M would be an overpay. Yet, that’s reportedly what Dennis wants, and the Lakers — who traded a first-round pick for Schroder — may prefer to hike up their already-exorbitant luxury tax bill rather than see him walk out the door. Plus, they can always trade him later.
As we’ve covered, the Lakers have multiple down-roster veterans to re-sign, will splurge to bring back Alex Caruso and Talen Horton-Tucker, and face two large unknowns with Andre Drummond (will either side want to do the taxpayer midlevel exception here?) and Montrezl Harrell ($9.7 million player option). All of those decisions factor into what they do with Schroder.
On Wednesday, we may have gleaned a bit into the Lakers’ thinking re: a Schroder deal. Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer reported the Lakers are exploring “sign-and-trade opportunities” with Schroder (who they nearly traded in March).
“The point guard appears to be looking for a greater role and a bigger payday, neither of which the Lakers seem willing to provide…League sources expect Chicago and New York to emerge as Schroder suitors, and both could be conducted via sign-and-trade…Meanwhile, Los Angeles continues to gauge rival teams’ interest in Kyle Kuzma…although Schroder does carry a higher trade value around the NBA.”
Most of that is not new information, including the Kuzma trade-gauging. In recent months, Woj and Shams have listed the Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks as potential landing spots for Dennis the Menace.
The two notable tidbits: the Lakers supposed unwillingness to re-sign Schroder rather than overpay, and his trade value compared to the younger (25), cheaper ($13 million), and more versatile Kuzma.
Schroder had a productive-if-underwhelming 2020-21 season and he fell out of favor with the fanbase, and possibly the team, down the stretch. He’s more of a ball-stopper than a floor-general, and that reared its ugly head in the playoffs and prevented him from truly meshing with LeBron and AD. He may have also rankled some feathers within the front office — thought he remained effusive of the organization — by turning down the extension (the untimely stint in health and protocols didn’t help).