Knicks Rumors: Lakers' Dennis Schroder to Be Among NYK's Free-Agent Targets

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistApril 13, 2021

Los Angeles Lakers guard Dennis Schroder (17) controls the ball during an NBA basketball game against the Milwaukee Bucks Wednesday, March 31, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
Ashley Landis/Associated Press

The New York Knicks are reportedly expected to pursue Los Angeles Lakers guard Dennis Schroder in free agency during the offseason. 

According to SNY.tv's Ian Begley, Schroder will be among the Knicks' targets in unrestricted free agency as they look to improve their point guard situation, while New Orleans Pelicans point guard Lonzo Ball will be a target in restricted free agency.

Begley noted that Derrick Rose, Elfrid Payton and Frank Ntilikina will all become free agents at the end of the 2020-21 season, meaning the Knicks will have little choice other than to address the point guard position.

Schroder, 27, is in his first season with the Lakers after they acquired him from the Oklahoma City Thunder in an offseason trade.

The Germany native has been a key contributor for the defending NBA champions, averaging 15.3 points, 5.3 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game, while shooting 43.2 percent from the field and 33.8 percent from beyond the arc.

Schroder was brought in to be the No. 3 offensive option behind LeBron James and Anthony Davis, but James and Davis both out in recent weeks due to injury, Schroder has largely been head coach Frank Vogel's go-to guy.

Schroder is in his eighth season and enjoyed previous stints with the Atlanta Hawks and Thunder, and he owns career averages of 14.2 points, 4.6 assists and 2.9 boards.

The Knicks have performed beyond expectations this season, as they are eighth in the Eastern Conference at 28-27, potentially putting them in position to reach the playoffs for the first time since the 2012-13 season.

Even with all of their success this season, point guard has been an obvious area of need. Proof positive of that is the fact that All-Star power forward Julius Randle has essentially acted as a point forward for much of the year, leading the team with 6.0 assists per game.

Head coach Tom Thibodeau likely won't want to take Randle's playmaking prowess out of his arsenal, but Schroder would take some of the load off his shoulders, while still allowing Randle to play a pivotal role as a passer.

Ball is more of a traditional point guard than Schroder and needs to have the offense running through him most of the time, while Schroder is a more versatile player who is able to play off the ball as well.

One might think that Schroder would like to stay with a championship-contending team like the Lakers, but according to ESPN (h/t Begley), he turned down a four-year, $84 million extension recently.

That means it will likely cost north of $20 million per year for the Knicks, Lakers or any other team to sign him during the offseason.

While that is a hefty chunk of change, it could prove to be worth it for a Knicks team that has cycled through so many options at point guard this season and failed to settle on a go-to option at the position.