The 2020-21 season did not end the way the Los Angeles Lakers envisioned as they were unfortunately eliminated by the Phoenix Suns in six games during the first round of the 2021 NBA playoffs.
Dennis Schroder, the Lakers’ prized acquisition during the offseason, had a bounce-back Game 6 as he scored 20 points to go along with three rebounds and three assists. Schroder looked more like the player the team saw during the 2020-21 season as he dove on the floor for loose balls and injected energy into what was previously a lifeless Staples Center.
With the Lakers now in the offseason, Schroder’s free agency will be at the forefront of the discussion. He has maintained that he would wait until free agency officially began to address his situation in Los Angeles but he all but committed to the team moving forward even though they had a rough ending to this season.
“You got to go through the bullshit to get to the good shit, that’s how I take it. We went through a lot of stuff this year, starting early with injuries, whatever. We’re gonna be back and I’m gonna work my ass off to come back here, to give everything because we own them fans one. I want to win a championship and I’m gonna work my ass off this summer and come back and be me.”
Playing with the Lakers this season was a challenge given all the injuries to the roster, and while Schroder has heard some of the outside noise, he is committed to returning to the Lakers and winning a championship alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
“I don’t know, I read so many things on Instagram and at the end of the day, like I said, this is my eighth season in the NBA and I just wanted to make my own decision one time, that I can decide where I want to go. Just to say ‘OK, I want to re-sign with the Lakers or I want to go somewhere else.’ That’s the only thing and I mean, Lakers, they didn’t do nothing to me, they’re great and have the top two players in the league.
“Everybody in the locker room is great so at the end of the day, like I said, I want to be here and win a championship. That’s not even a question. And it wasn’t about money because everybody who knows me, it’s not about money either. Of course you want to be fair, but at the end of the day, not everything is about money for me and my family. End of the day, if everything is good, we’re gonna come back and win a championship next year.”
Schroder caught the ire of Lakers fans for his no-show performance in Game 5 and seemed as though he was on his way out, so for him to come out and say he would like to re-sign is a surprise. The guard is talented and would be a welcomed addition for next season’s roster, but it remains to be seen whether or not he and the front office can agree to terms on a deal.
Regardless, the Lakers may have no choice but to re-sign Schroder given they will be operating over the salary cap. However, it may end up working out well for both sides in the coming months and it will be interesting to see how things ultimately play out.
Schroder believes he will be more comfortable in second year with Lakers
A big reason for the Lakers’ early postseason exit was the number of injuries and lack of continuity they had to deal with all season.
Schroder believes if he comes back for a second year then he will gain even more comfortability alongside his teammates.
“My first year in OKC was tough, I played with Russ and PG. Then my second year I felt comfortable. Now I’m playing my first year with the top two players in the world and the best player who ever played this game probably and for me, it’s just about being in a comfort zone and feeling comfortable.
“But I never use anything as an excuse, I just want to be comfortable, figure everybody out. But like I said, I’m gonna be better. But I still can’t get it out of my head that I played with the best player in the world and on the court, off the court, I learned so much already from him and I can’t wait for more. Just get everybody coming back healthy next season and everybody staying together.”
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