Rob Pelinka: Lakers Value Dennis Schroder’s ‘Competitive Nature’
Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers have a number of decisions to make this offseason as they look to build their roster following a disappointing end to the 2020-21 season. While it will be a collaborative effort throughout the franchise, VP of basketball operations Rob Pelinka will be at the forefront of those decisions with the biggest perhaps being in regards to point guard Dennis Schroder.

Schroder has his positives and negatives and both were on display throughout the season. At times, Schroder looked like every bit the third option the Lakers needed next to LeBron James and Anthony Davis, but at others he seemed to disappear.

As an unrestricted free agent, Schroder will be free to go anywhere this offseason, but he did say he wants to return to the Lakers next year. The Lakers also sound like they want him back with Pelinka expressing the main quality the Lakers love about the young point guard.

“One of the genes in a player that we value so much in terms of a makeup or DNA here, mentality, is just the competitive nature and I think all of us can look at Dennis’ body of work and he is an extreme competitor and that’s on both sides of the ball,” Pelinka said. “He’s hounding guys, picking up players full court, diving for loose balls, bringing that energy on the defensive end and then of course has the ability to score at the point guard position. So we value just those qualities in him.”

In terms of actually re-signing Schroder this summer, Pelinka didn’t go into the specifics, but again stressed the desire to bring back much of the roster in hopes of fulfilling the potential the team showed this year.

“August is August and free agency is a couple months away and there’s a lot of different things we’ll have to evaluate there but Dennis is an attractive player to us just because of what he brings to the table,” Pelinka added.

“I agree that there are multiple parts and pieces of this team that there is unfinished business and I think when you fall short of the goal that you set, it has to drive you. It has to be the fuel that drives your passion and I think us falling short as a team, that in some sense is gonna be part of our motivation in putting in the work and getting back at it at the start or training camp next year with a strong roster.”

Both sides have been extremely complimentary of each other throughout the season and seem to be on the same page for a return. But nothing is guaranteed until a contract is signed.

Schroder’s on-court play reportedly ‘frustrated’ some within Lakers

The positives and negatives on Schroder may have rubbed some inside the Lakers organization the wrong way, and not just with off the court things. A recent report suggested that Schroder’s on-court play frustrated some of the Lakers and this, at least in part, was why the team was willing to include him in a trade for Kyle Lowry at the trade deadline.

These are rumors, however, and do not mean that Lakers players definitely did not like playing with Schroder and there it is unlikely that we will receive the complete truth on this subject. Whether it affects the point guard’s potential return to the team remains to be seen.

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