With most of the top free agents off the board, this offseason, and scouts monitoring the Summer League to potentially put the finishing touches on the roster. There is still one top free agent who has not signed yet.
The Los Angeles Lakers offered Dennis Schroder two contract extensions throughout the season. The first offer the Laker organization gave Schroder was for two years worth $33.4 million, and the second extension was worth four years $84 million.
Still, the soon-to-be unrestricted free agent decided to test the market as he reportedly wanted around 100-120 million over the same four-year span. However, putting the money aside, things are not working as planned as he remains unsigned. This might be a disaster of one’s own game plan
Which Teams Could Still Be Interested in Dennis Schroder’s Services
The Los Angeles Lakers are starting to look like the team that had the best offer on the table. However, it also seemed like a reunion for both sides was never going to happen in the first place as rumors swirled around the trade deadline as the Lakers wanted to swap Schroder for at the time Toronto Raptors’ point guard Kyle Lowry.
During the first day of free agency, the Lakers were looking to involve Schroder in a possible sign-and-trade as his salary would have made a trade even more possible as his salary would help in a deal. It also seemed to have more value than Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope he had a decent market at the start of free agency.
Ultimately, the Lakers did not need the German guard to swing for a trade as they dealt Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and the draft rights to Isaiah Jackson to the Washington Wizards in exchange for Russell Westbrook and two future second-round picks.
The next rumor was that the New York Knicks were reportedly interested in his services after re-signing Derrick Rose to a three-year, 43 million dollar deal. It seemed like a possible match as Elfrid Payton and Frank Ntilikina looked to be on their way out.
However, the Knicks had better plans as the Knicks grabbed Kemba Walker who recently agreed to a buyout with the Oklahoma City Thunder to join the Knicks. Walker will be making $8 million per season and giving back $20MM in the process to make the deal work. The Boston Celtics could still be in the mix to sign the guard.
Issues That He May Face Depending on How the Situation Unfolds
So what is Dennis Schroder’s market this offseason as many teams pretty much have a set starting five for next season?
Schroder and his camp are in a predicament as his free agency drags on. The problem for him is signing a one-year deal with the Celtics or any other team in the league besides the Lakers would cost him his bird rights. That means he would have Non-Bird Rights for 2022 free agency. This would mean that he might only get a 20 percent raise before his new team would have to use cap space or a different cap exception to retain him.
To retain his Bird Rights, he would have to re-sign with the Lakers or sign a three deal with another team. As mentioned before, a sign-and-trade deal would be ideal for Schroder, but that ship might have sailed as the Lakers look like a completely new team than they did two weeks ago.
Schroder is still only 27 years old and was a big part of the offense especially when both LeBron James and Anthony Davis were dealing with stints on the injury list. He averaged 15.4 PPG, 5.8 APG, and 1.1 steals per game on 43.7 percent shooting from the field in around 32.0 minutes a game.
Schroder now finds himself in a situation where he can showcase his talent in a new city. If he puts up numbers as he did in his last year in Oklahoma City, he will have no issue getting a bigger paycheck down the line.
However, it’s a big what if as it will most likely cost his Bird Rights in the event of a one-year deal. One thing is for certain, it will be difficult for him to recoup nearly as much money as he passed up on as it may take more than one offseason to get a deal close to or more than 84 million.
Potential fits: Boston Celtics, New Orleans Pelicans, Oklahoma City Thunder, Golden State Warriors