In mid-February, Dennis Schroder became eligible to sign a four-year deal with the Los Angeles Lakers worth just about $86 million. At the time, the assumption was that it would get done quickly, as both Schroder and the Lakers have talked so highly of one another.
However, over a month later a deal has still not been agreed to. Given the Lakers 0-4 stretch with him in the NBA’s health and safety protocols — and his remarkable play since returning — it’s clear that he is vital to the team’s long-term plans.
Schroder sees himself as part of the long-term plans as well but reiterated that things needed to be fair from all perspectives. “I love this organization and want to be a part of this organization for a long time. So we really don’t have to worry about anything,” Schroder said after Thursday night’s win over the Charlotte Hornets. “At the end of the day, in eight years I didn’t feel one time where I had to sit there during the summer and just see the options.
“So we’re kind of between should we sign the extension or should we wait until the summer, because I want to be a Laker for a long time. I always say it, I just want it to be fair. Not even financially or all the other stuff, I just want it to be fair, treated the right way, my family and friends that are with me, and they’re doing it so far.”
Schroder went into specific about what he’s enjoyed from the Lakers so far. “First off, the team. I’ve been around good teams but this team here is just special. Even during these hard times we’re going through right now, we’re still able to get together as a team and I’ve never had that somewhere where we grab dinner, we’re doing just stuff with the team and that’s really impressive.
“And then Rob Pelinka, I think he’s got something good going on here, he’s treating me the right way. Coaches, I love the coaches, even the staff, everybody is just professional and straightforward. That’s what I like. I’m the same way, when something is not going the right way I’m gonna say it in a respectful way, but I’m straightforward too so everything is really just perfect here so far.”
Everything Schroder is saying sounds like someone who is ready to sign a contract. However, there appear to be some roadblocks on both sides. The Lakers point guard may want to hit free agency just to see what it’s like, while L.A. may be working to clear some future salary-cap space.
According to a recent report by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Schroder is looking to sign a long-term deal in excess of $20 million per year, which is more than has been reported in the past.
This bit of insight from Wojnarowski gives another layer of intrigue to the next week before the March 25 trade deadline as he also added that L.A. could be looking to unload some salary. The Lakers have plenty of decisions to make, and it remains to be seen how they’ll attack the Schroder extension and other players on the roster.
Lakers among teams inquiring about Pacers’ Myles Turner
One name that has come up in trade talks for the Lakers is Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner. It would be relatively difficult to match salaries to get him, but the Lakers may use this as a way to clear up some future money while addressing a current need.
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