Friday, April 9th, 2021
$ 84 million rejected
Schröder takes a risk for freedom
The first offer from the Los Angeles Lakers does not convince Dennis Schröder. Now, for the first time in his NBA career, the 27-year-old can freely decide which club he would like to play basketball for. A freedom that also brings with it danger.
Dennis Schröder now just wants to know how it is: When you can decide for yourself. Since his NBA debut in October 2013, the teams have always had control over where Germany’s best basketball player now plays. First with the Atlanta Hawks and then with the Oklahoma City Thunder team, which sent him to the Los Angeles Lakers in November. Ironically, the record champion in the North American professional league is now on the short hand: Schröder’s contract is expiring, he has reportedly rejected an 84 million dollar offer for a four-year contract with the most colorful of all NBA teams and can do something in the summer he wants.
“I’m in a great situation,” said the 27-year-old from Braunschweig. “When the season is over, I’ll sit down with my family and see what’s best for me.” Leaving the NBA record champions is only one possibility, after all, he and his wife and two children have just moved into a large villa north of the Santa Monica Mountains in the Tarzana district and basically feels good – but he can leave if he is he wants.
The Lakers know this and apparently wanted to prevent what in football equates to the transfer of a top player free of charge, such as the departure of David Alaba from FC Bayern Munich. On the last day of the transfer window, Schröder was suddenly part of an offer to the Toronto Raptors to get Kyle Lowry in return. According to the motto: Then we will at least only lose him for something in return. However, the move has apparently left at least a small dent in the still relatively fresh relationship between Schröder and Los Angeles. “It’s a crazy business,” he said of the rumors after the transfer period ended.
It works defensively, but not yet offensively
In the land of unlimited possibilities, the development player can handle the uncertainty well at the moment. For the first time in his career he is playing for a team that, despite all the current difficulties, such as the 104: 110 against the Miami Heat and only four wins from the last ten games, is one of the contenders for the title. Trainers and colleagues praise Schröder whenever they are asked about him by journalists.
“I think it’s going great. We hope he’s happy here,” said coach Frank Vogel after Schröder’s first 100 days in the city. “He got off to a great start as a Laker.” And even if the currently injured stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis are back on the floor, Schröder will almost certainly not lose his place in the starting line-up. Vogel appreciates his aggressiveness in defense and his speed.
Since his arrival in Los Angeles, Schröder himself has repeatedly said how well the team has welcomed him and how comfortable he is. “But of course I also want to see what it looks like when I’m completely free. So that after eight years I can decide for myself where I want to go or what I would like to sign. I’ve never had that before the eight years, “said Schröder. “The team always had the decision. This year I have.” It is therefore very unlikely that he will accept an offer from the Lakers during the season.
Despite everything, there is also a residual risk for him. Schröder’s statistics are currently slightly worse than in Oklahoma, he averages 15.1 points, 3.5 rebounds and 5.4 assists. With his ex-team – in a role as a player who came off the bench – 18.9 points, 3.6 rebounds and 4.0 assists. And Schröder still has to prove that he can perform late in the playoffs and help a team. If that doesn’t work, its market value will decrease. Better to avoid injury too.