In the first couple of days of free agency, the Los Angeles Lakers completely overhauled their roster in hopes of getting back into championship contention in 2021-22.
The big move, of course, was trading for Russell Westbrook to pair the former MVP with LeBron James and Anthony Davis. One of the Lakers’ biggest weaknesses last season was their shooting though, so Rob Pelinka did a solid job of addressing that by bringing in plus shooters like Wayne Ellington, Malik Monk, Kent Bazemore, Kendrick Nunn and Carmelo Anthony.
With so many new additions though, that means that a number of players from last year’s roster won’t be back with the team. One of those likely is Dennis Schroder as the point guard notably turned down a four-year, $84 million extension with the Lakers during the season and then was reportedly seeking $100 million in free agency.
Unfortunately for Schroder though, cap space around the league has largely dried up so it is hard to see him getting anywhere close to that number.
— Guy Boston Sports (@GuyBostonSports) August 5, 2021
The Celtics don’t have cap space but still have their mid-level exception of a little more than $5 million available, although that would be for a lot less than Schroder was hoping for and it appears that is why the two sides are still apart, via NBA insider Keith Smith:
Here's what a source told me on the Celtics and Dennis Schroder: Both sides have interest. Boston is interested in only a short-term deal, ideally one year. Schroder is still looking for more money than the Celtics can offer and/or a longer deal.
— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) August 6, 2021
The other option if Boston wants to add him would be via sign-and-trade, sending salary and potential draft picks back to the Lakers to get it done.
Marcus Smart would probably be a player the Lakers would be interested in to add some defense toughness. It’s hard to imagine the Celtics wanting to trade him to L.A. though, so even though there have been conversations, Boston still feels like an unlikely destination for Schroder.
As far as teams with cap space go, the New Orleans Pelicans are another team that could make sense for Schroder. If none of the teams with remaining space are interested though then he will have to go the sign-and-trade route, which the Lakers would prefer in order to at least get something in return.
Caruso would’ve signed for less money than he got with Bulls
One of the Lakers’ big losses in free agency was Alex Caruso as he inked a four-year, $37 million contract with the Chicago Bulls. It was recently reported that he would’ve signed with the Lakers for less but then weren’t willing to offer him more than $7 million annually.
While that is unfortunate, the Lakers have bounced back nicely from that loss by adding some solid pieces on veteran minimum contracts.
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