Lakers Should Not Bring Back Dennis Schroder At Any Cost – Here’s Why

Published 08/06/2021, 10:37 AM EDT
Jan 13, 2021; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Dennis Schroder (17) smiles as he is introduced before the start of a game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports


Los Angeles Lakers’ pursuit of banner number 18 has been the focal point of the NBA. Is age really a factor in the modern era? Rob Pelinka seems to disagree. Following their 17th title in October 2020, Pelinka emerged the hero as he cut the “dead weight” chasing younger talent.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Following LA’s early exit from the 2021 playoffs, the Lakers have pivoted straight back to the strategy that saw them journey to the promised land. What does this mean for PG Dennis Schroder? What does it mean for the player whose transition from a sought after 6th Man-of-the-Year runner-up to a UFA with no suitors was in quick succession following a disappointing playoff run?

Dec 30, 2020; San Antonio, Texas, USA; San Antonio Spurs guard Keldon Johnson (3) looks to pass as Los Angeles Lakers guards Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (1) and Dennis Schroder (17) and forward Anthony Davis (3) defend in the third quarter at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports.

Schroder’s options in free agency have been highly restricted. While LA has done their best to palm him off to teams hunting for a PG, Spencer Dinwiddie’s signing in Washington and Kemba’s signing in New York haven’t made things any easier.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Should the Lakers run it back with Dennis Schroder

Considering that the Lakers have barely any cap space and their only options remain either a sign-and-trade or a vet minimum, the answer is probably no. Given that Pelinka just orchestrated the Westbrook trade, the last thing LA needs is another facilitator who can’t shoot it at a high level.

His performance in the purple and gold was disappointing. Following a successful season in Oklahoma City, Dennis’ demands over a starting role were met in Los Angeles. And even though he took over the lead role on both ends during LeBron and Davis’ absence, he was a no-show in the first round vs Phoenix.

While Dennis was a high level defender throughout the season; running Frank Vogel’s defensive sets to the T, him running the point did little in sustaining LA’s offensive load without LeBron on the floor. Result? Repetitive costly turnovers and lost possessions owing to his misplaced belief in his own ability!

The fact that he also was a subpar shooter from the field and the 3 at 43.7% and 33.5% respectively, worsened LA’s position, as they suffered long scoring droughts throughout the season. Dennis shrank in the playoffs with a +/- of -20. Poor on-the-court judgement saw him commit a high volume of turnovers. He also played an iffy defense and took ridiculous shots while being triple teamed.

The road ahead

Schroder actually turned down a 4-yr $84million extension in late February. Betting on himself as an A-list caliber PG, Schroder demanded over 100million across 4 years.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Jan 13, 2021; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) high fives guard Dennis Schroder (17) and center Marc Gasol (14) during a time out against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the second half at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

Best option for both Rob Pelinka and Dennis remains a sign and trade to a team of his choice. The Lakers need primary wing defenders to fill out their remaining 3 roster spots given their moves this offseason. Schroder has been being dangled as a carrot in the market ever since the trade deadline. How likely is it, it’s suddenly all Kumbaya in La La Land?

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

With Westbrook and James pencilled in as the 2 primary ball handlers on this roster, Dennis is unlikely to return to Hollywood. What are the remaining options? Miracle man Pelinka pulls off a sign & trade sending the PG to a market which has shown no interest in him.

Watch this story – Wearing A Kermit Drinking Tea Hat, Calling Out His Space Jam 2 Critics & Other Ways LeBron James Trolled His Haters

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Nikhil Naik

170 articles

Nikhil Naik is an NBA writer at EssentialySports. Having completed his bachelor's degree in Hospitality, he has worked with the Indian Hotels Company Limited, at the Taj in Mumbai. Nikhil has been playing basketball since 2014.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT