The NBA’s annual trade deadline is officially in the books and the Los Angeles Lakers decided to stand pat despite being linked to a number of players.
When healthy, the Lakers have one of the most dominant teams in the league but injuries may have increased the urgency to find immediate help. Los Angeles reportedly took calls on most of their players but ultimately decided that they are comfortable with the current roster in addition to potentially a couple of players on the buyout market.
One player who was dangled this past week was Dennis Schroder, who is playing on the last year of his contract. Schroder is eligible for an extension but according to Jovan Buha and Bill Oram of The Athletic, the Lakers were willing to include him in trade talks because contract negotiations don’t seem to be going well:
But sources said the sides remain far apart in extension negotiations, with Schröder, who is making $15.5 million in the final year of a four-year contract, seeking a multi-year extension that would pay him more than $20 million per year. That gap contributed to the Lakers’ willingness to include Schröder in trade talks.
Schroder has previously expressed his desire to stay with the Purple and Gold, but acknowledged that he wants his new deal to reflect his perceived value.
After the Lakers’ loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday night, Schroder again commented on his contract situation and it doesn’t seem that an extension will happen before he gets to free agency this summer.
“It’s a crazy business, first of all. At the end of the day, I want to play my season out,” Schroder said. “I said too that I want to see my options. I for sure want to be a Laker, but I still want to see my options.
“After eight years, it’s my first time seeing what other clubs who have interest in me. It’s what I said, too, but nobody mentioned that on the media. Everybody is saying that I want to sign long-term with the Lakers, so end of the day, my last word on that is I want to see my options, but I want to be a Laker. So however y’all want to put it on Instagram, Twitter or whatever it is, that’s it.”
Schroder has essentially remained consistent on this topic all season as although he is enjoying his time in L.A., he wants to see what other options are out there in free agency.
The Lakers traded away Danny Green and a first-round pick to acquire Schroder last offseason, and as a team that’s already over the salary cap, they would have no means of replacing him if he walks in free agency.
That should make for some interesting negotiations this offseason, with multiple reports indicating that Schroder is seeking more than $20 million per year.
Schroder not phased by trade rumors
Leading up to the trade deadline, the big-name player that the Lakers were linked to was Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry, although ultimately no deal came to fruition.
If the Lakers had landed Lowry, then Schroder likely would have been one of the players going back to Toronto, which wouldn’t have concerned him.
“At the end of the day, we’re playing basketball and that’s the best job you can have,” Schroder said. “Wherever you are doing it, whatever organization you are in you are blessed. My family is healthy. I got two kids, a wife. My family in Germany is healthy, so I’m blessed like I said. Wherever I go, I’m going to be happy with it.”
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