3:54pm: Marc Stein of The New York Times hears from two sources that Schröder has turned down extension offers in the range of $80MM over four years.
1:54pm: Discussing his contract situation last week, Lakers guard Dennis Schröder strongly hinted that he intends to reach free agency rather than signing an in-season extension, noting that he wants to see his options on the open market. In today’s episode of his Hoop Collective podcast, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst confirmed that Schröder and the Lakers appear unlikely to agree to a deal prior to free agency.
“From what I understand, they’ve had contract talks and they couldn’t agree to an extension,” Windhorst said. “The maximum he can sign for (during the season) is four years, $84MM. … What I have been told – and this is rumor is pretty widely out there, so I doubt this is very surprising – is that the Lakers did indeed offer him that $84MM over four years.
“Now, this is where we get into gray area,” Windhorst continued. “Was it fully guaranteed? Was it partially guaranteed? Were there incentives? I don’t know. But I believe he was offered a contract in that realm and he said no to it.”
Windhorst’s caveats are important. If the Lakers’ offer to Schröder included a non-guaranteed final season or a significant amount of incentives, it’s not nearly as strong as that reported $84MM figure suggests.
Even if the Lakers’ offer was fully guaranteed, there are reasons to believe that Schröder would pass on it for now. Malcolm Brogdon and Fred VanVleet signed deals in the four-year, $84MM range in the last two years, and Schröder’s 2019/20 production compared favorably to what those players did in their contract years (his numbers have dipped a little in ’20/21). If the Lakers are prepared to offer his maximum in-season extension amount, it stands to reason they might be willing to go a little higher once he officially reaches free agency.
Additionally, since Schröder signed his current deal as a rookie scale extension with Atlanta in 2016, he has never gotten a chance to experience free agency. So even if he feels the Lakers’ offer is fair, his comments about wanting to explore his options indicate that he wants to go through the process at least once.
As Windhorst reiterated on the Hoop Collective podcast, the Lakers were readily offering Schröder in pre-deadline trade discussions for Kyle Lowry, an indication they aren’t necessarily locked into the 27-year-old as their long-term point guard. However, letting Schröder walk in free agency won’t open up any cap room for Los Angeles, so the team will be motivated to either get something done with him or get something back in a sign-and-trade.