Lakers Rumors: Latest on Dennis Schroder's Contract, David Fizdale, Scott Brooks

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistJuly 5, 2021

Lakers Rumors: Latest on Dennis Schroder's Contract, David Fizdale, Scott Brooks

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    Ashley Landis/Associated Press

    The Los Angeles Lakers had hoped to be back in the NBA Finals this year, but they were ousted in the opening round of the playoffs. Now, the Lakers will spend the offseason regrouping, retooling and refocusing on another potential run with LeBron James and Anthony Davis as the foundation.

    At least a couple of pieces from the 2020 season are unlikely to return. One of them, assistant coach Jason Kidd, is already gone. Kidd took the head coaching job with the Dallas Mavericks roughly a week ago. To help replace him, Los Angeles reportedly hired veteran coach David Fizdale.

    Fizdale may not be the last coaching hire of the Lakers offseason, and there is work to be done with the roster. Here, we'll dig into the latest buzz on L.A.'s assistant coaching search and the possible future of point guard and pending free agent Dennis Schroder.

Schroder Seeking $100-Plus Million on Next Contract

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    Matt York/Associated Press

    Last offseason, the Lakers acquired Schroder in a trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Less than a year later, the 27-year-old could be on his way out.

    Schroder has stated his desire to return to the Lakers next season. The reality, though, is that he might price himself out of Los Angeles. According to Vice President of German Basketball Federation Armin Andres, Schroder is seeking a contract of $100 million or more in free agency.

    "Dennis Schroder has communicated this clearly: He wants $100-, $120 million—which he will probably also get—and this sum insured cannot be insured on the normal market at the moment," Andres said on Abteilung Basketball podcast, as reported by Manuel Baraniak (h/t

    Such a deal probably isn't going to happen with Los Angeles, which is already projected to be over the salary cap. Los Angeles reportedly tried to lock up Schroder with a smaller deal during the season but was unsuccessful. Now, the Lakers may be inclined to let Schroder walk.

    "What I have been told is the Lakers did indeed offer him that $84 million over four years ... and he said no. He said no to that extension. And subsequently the Lakers offered him in trade for Kyle Lowry," ESPN's Brian Windhorst said on the Hoop Collective podcast (h/t Brad Botkin of CBS Sports).

    A sign-and-trade could be a possibility with Schroder, but finding a team to take on a $100-plus million contract could be difficult. Schroder is a talented player, but he showed this past season that he isn't quite enough to put a playoff-caliber team over the top.

Fizdale Took Less Money to Reunite with LeBron

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    Jeffrey Phelps/Associated Press

    Fizdale returns to California coaching—he served as an assistant with the University of San Diego, Fresno State and the Golden State Warriors—for the first time in nearly two decades. However, going home was only part of the equation for the Los Angeles native.

    According to Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated, Fizdale wanted a chance to reunite with James and took less money to do so.

    "David Fizdale accepted Lakers assistant coach opening over more lucrative Indiana offer, The Undefeated learned," Spears tweeted. "Former Grizzlies & Knicks coach preferred being reunited with LeBron, being home in LA and Lakers title chances. LeBron & Fiz communicated after latter agreed to deal."

    Fizdale coached James as an assistant for the Miami Heat during James' entire tenure with the organization. He then served as head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies and New York Knicks but was fired from both jobs.

    While Fizdale hasn't panned out as a head coach, he is undoubtedly still respected, as evidenced by him receiving multiple offers this offseason. Fizdale and James won two titles together in Miami. The reunion makes a lot of sense, even if it wasn't the most financially lucrative opportunity Fizdale had on the table.

Lakers Have Also Interviewed Scott Brooks

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    Nick Wass/Associated Press

    Fizdale might not be the only former head coach to join the Lakers as an assistant this offseason. According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, Los Angeles also interviewed Scott Brooks for an assistant position.

    Brooks last served as head coach of the Washington Wizards. He and Washington decided to part ways when Brooks' contract expired this offseason. Before joining Washington, Brooks was the head coach of the Thunder.

    Should the Lakers hire Brooks, it will likely spark speculation about the team trying to acquire Russell Westbrook. Brooks has a long history with the nine-time All-Star and has certainly earned his respect.

    "Players get a lot of credit because we're on the floor. But behind the scenes, Scotty is one hell of a coach," Westbrook said, per Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington.

    While the Lakers have given no clear indication that they plan to chase Westbrook, it could happen. Very little should be ruled out, as Los Angeles looks to maximize its remaining window with the 36-year-old James.