After trading for Russell Westbrook, it was clear the Los Angeles Lakers were content with parting ways with Dennis Schroder after his up-and-down 2020-21 season.
The Lakers traded away Danny Green and their 2020 first-round pick to acquire Schroder and while the point guard came out of the gates strong, he began to slow down toward the end of the season and had a lackluster postseason. Those poor playoff performances left a bad taste in Lakers fans’ mouths and it apparently was enough for the front office to decide that he was not worth bringing back despite holding his Bird Rights.
Free agency could not have gone worse for Schroder as teams with cap space who needed a starting point guard quickly filled their voids, evaporating any landing spots for him. For over a week, Schroder went unsigned as several other guards found new homes and he eventually had to accept a one-year, $5.9 million offer from the Boston Celtics.
The 27-year-old was clowned incessantly for his poor decision to turn down a reported four-year, $84 million deal from the Lakers and recently, Shaquille O’Neal chimed in on his Instagram account:
All season, Schroder had said that he wanted a deal that was fair but in hindsight that was an incredibly poor business decision to turn down such a lucrative extension from a team like the Lakers. The guard was reportedly asking for a new deal in the $100-$120 million range, but there was no way that a team was going to offer him that much money after the season he had.
It must be a truly humbling experience for Schroder to see his market dry up so quickly, but the NBA is a guard-driven league and the type of money he was requesting is reserved for the truly elite. However, not everything is bad as he will be able to play on a solid Celtics team to rehab his value and jump back into free agency next summer. Still, this was a reminder that sometimes it is best to accept the money in front of you.
Pelinka believes Westbrook belongs in elite group of players
Unlike Schroder, Westbrook earned the massive contracts he has earned in his career and that type of resume is why Rob Pelinka believes the All-Star guard belongs in an elite class of players.
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