Dennis Schroder Says He Wants to Be with Lakers Long Term Amid Contract Rumors

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJanuary 13, 2021

Los Angeles Lakers guard Dennis Schroder (17) takes the ball down the court during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Portland Trail Blazers Monday, Dec 28, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
Ashley Landis/Associated Press

Los Angeles Lakers point guard Dennis Schroder said Tuesday he's open to signing a contract extension with his current four-year, $70 million deal set to expire after the 2020-21 NBA season. 

"It's amazing," Schroder told reporters about the Lakers' chemistry after a 117-100 win over the Houston Rockets. "That's the reason why I think I want to be here long term, but like I said before, it's got to be fair on both ends. If it's fair, then I ain't got no problems. It's gonna be great to be here long term, for sure."

In December, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Schroder turned down the Lakers' initial offer of $33.4 million over two years with the sides expected to ramp up negotiations in mid-February, when he becomes eligible to sign an extension worth up to $83 million over four years.

The 27-year-old Germany native joined L.A. in November as part of a trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder. It's already the third stop in his eight NBA seasons after starting his career as the 17th overall pick of the Atlanta Hawks in the 2013 draft.

Although LeBron James continues to lead the Lakers in assists (7.5 per game), Schroder's presence has helped take some pressure off the four-time MVP in terms of running the offense.

The 6'3" guard has averaged 14.2 points, 4.8 assists and 4.0 rebounds while shooting 37.5 percent from three-point range across his first 12 appearances with Los Angeles.

"I'm a team player. Whatever it takes, what I need to do, I'm going to do it. It's team-first, and we need to get some wins," Schroder said in December.

The Lakers are staring down a busy offseason after they attempt to defend their 2020 championship. They potentially have six unrestricted free agents, including Schroder, three restricted free agents and standout sixth man Montrezl Harrell holds a player option, per Spotrac.

So, while the superstar tandem of James and Anthony Davis will remain in place, there's work to do elsewhere to make sure the roster remains at a title-contention level.

Schroder will likely be the top priority among the UFA group, and it wouldn't be a surprise to see the Lakers work quickly after contract restrictions are eased in February to get a deal done.