Dennis Schroder returns to the Los Angeles Lakers to take care of unfinished business after leaving the team in the summer of 2021.
Schroder left in free agency to sign a one-year, $5.9 million deal with the Boston Celtics. His exit was a result of unsuccessful contract extension negotiations, during which the German guard reportedly rejected a four-year contract worth up to $84 million.
But after he finally joined the team following a visa-related hold-up, Schroder said he had never rejected an extension offer during his time in L.A. “End of the day, there never was a contract,” the 29-year-old said.
“Me and Rob, we had a good relationship. He helped me and my family out every single time when I asked him to. But there never was a contract, never rejected anything. I don’t know who brought it up, but that’s the media.
“But end of the day, no contract and I’m just happy to be here. Like you said, unfinished business and we just got to take care of the stuff and win a ‘chip. That’s the goal and other than that with the contract, that’s not true. But I think you guys can ask Rob and see what he has to say about it.”
Two years after failing to extend his first run with the Lakers, Schroder returns to L.A. on a one-year, minimum deal. That’s a significant pay cut compared to the $70 million rookie contract extension he signed back in 2016.
And while the guard hopes that, one day, he will be paid big bucks again, Schroder said money isn’t his priority in life. “This is my 10th year now. In my third year, I signed a big contract,” he said.
“Of course the whole situation with the Lakers was weird, that’s the reason why I said I’d even play for free here just to make it right and just to put everybody in the right direction. It doesn’t matter for me, my family is good, my kids are good and they’re gonna be good.
“So end of the day, I’m gonna do this, it’s my passion and, of course, it would be great to sign a big deal and a longer-term deal and that’s my goal still. But end of the day, we’re here now and I’ll do everything I can to help my teammates win ballgames.”
Schroder excited to play in front of Lakers fans
During the 2020-21 season, Schroder got to play in front of the Lakers faithful only on a few occasions toward the end of the campaign. The guard said he looks forward to the whole experience of representing the Purple and Gold this time around, including games at a jam-packed Crypto.com Arena.
“It didn’t feel anything like it because it was no fans, like you mentioned, the media and all that was not there,” Schroder said. “So it was difficult times with COVID, but now being back here, that was another main reason why I came.
“Like I said, I’m excited to play in front of our fans, to compete and do everything in my power to win ballgames.”
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