Dennis Schroder Rumors: Wizards, Kings 'Don't Want' Lakers FA in Sign-and-Trade Talks

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVJuly 31, 2021

Los Angeles Lakers guard Dennis Schroder (17) controls the ball during Game 6 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the Phoenix Suns Thursday, Jun 3, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
AP Photo/Ashley Landis

The Los Angeles Lakers are reportedly "at risk" of losing point guard Dennis Schroder "for nothing" in free agency because of a lack of interest in a potential sign-and-trade deal.

ESPN's Zach Lowe reported Saturday the Washington Wizards, who sent Russell Westbrook to L.A. in a blockbuster trade earlier in the week, and the Sacramento Kings, who have a Lakers target in Buddy Hield, both "don't want" Schroder, and many of the teams seeking a point guard can sign him directly from the open market without sending Los Angeles an asset in return.

The Westbrook trade gave the Lakers a third superstar to combine with LeBron James and Anthony Davis, but there are far more questions than answers about how they'll fill out the remainder of the roster.

Marc Gasol is the only other player on a guaranteed contract for the 2021-22 season. Alfonzo McKinnie is on a non-guaranteed deal, while Talen Horton-Tucker, Kostas Antetokounmpo and Devontae Cacok are restricted free agents.

Losing Schroder, who averaged 15.4 points and 5.8 assists per game last season, to free agency without getting something in return, either a package headlined by an impact player like Hield or perhaps some draft picks it could use in those trade talks with the Kings, would be a blow to the Lakers' roster-building plans.

Before the Westbrook deal, L.A. came close to trading two players from that package, Kyle Kuzma and Montrezl Harrell, to Sacramento for Hield, per Lowe.

Hield is a perfect fit on paper—a sharpshooter who's made 40.6 percent of his career three-point attempts and would likely thrive with the minimal defensive attention he'd face given the Lakers' star power.

If Los Angeles can't find a way to turn Schroder into Hield, it will have to figure out how to use its limited financial resources to work magic in free agency. It could prove difficult with other teams also in the market for shooters on the wing, as the Lakers "can't match that in money," per Lowe.

Instead L.A. will have to sell veterans who are seeking a chance to contend for a championship on the ability to play a key role by signing a team-friendly contract.