The Los Angeles Lakers couldn't repeat as NBA champions during the 2020-21 season. However, quite a few members of the team are now gone following the loss to the Phoenix Suns in the first round of the playoffs.
Dennis Schroder and Alex Caruso weren't re-signed. Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope were traded. Some other bench players aren't coming back.
But Los Angeles has also wasted no time in refilling its roster. Russell Westbrook was acquired as a third star to play alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis. And a plethora of veteran role players (such as Dwight Howard, Carmelo Anthony and Trevor Ariza, among others) were signed during free agency.
As the offseason moves on, plenty of buzz continues to surround the Lakers. Here's some of the latest.
Lakers Never Offered Extension to Schroder?
On Friday, the Boston Celtics announced their signing of Schroder to a one-year deal, which will be worth the taxpayer mid-level exception of $5.89 million, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. But it seemed at one point that Schroder was going to become much wealthier.
In March, ESPN's Brian Windhorst reported that Schroder had turned down a four-year, $84 million extension offer from the Lakers. And considering how free agency went for Schroder, it appears lhe may have made a mistake by not agreeing to that deal with Los Angeles.
However, maybe the two sides weren't actually as close to an extension as that report made it seem.
"What I’m hearing from a credible source is that there was never an 'official' offer made," ESPN's Jay Williams tweeted.
Perhaps there were talks that took place and were never formalized? It's possible we'll never know. But if Schroder was offered that extension and thought he could get a bigger deal once free agency arrived, then it was a tough turn of events for the 27-year-old point guard.
Schroder spent only one season with the Lakers, but he played well while starting 61 games. He averaged 15.4 points, 5.8 assists and 3.5 rebounds per contest while shooting 43.7 percent from the field.
Now, the eight-year NBA veteran is heading to Boston to play for his fourth team. And while Schroder may not have inked a big deal, he could play a key role for the Celtics while trying to prove he's worth more than he signed for.
Stephenson's Comeback Attempt Takes Next Step
Lance Stephenson hasn't appeared in an NBA game since April 4, 2019. That was his 68th and final game of his lone season with the Lakers.
Now, the 30-year-old shooting guard is making a comeback bid. And on Friday, his attempt took another step forward. According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, Stephenson held a private workout in Las Vegas in front of representatives from NBA teams.
That would seem to indicate that the Lakers may not have interest in reuniting with Stephenson. It's always possible that things could change, though, because situations are fluid during the NBA offseason.
Stephenson averaged 7.2 points and 3.2 rebounds per game during the 2018-29 season with the Lakers, and he shot 42.6 percent from the field. He then played 29 games for the Liaoning Flying Leopards of the Chinese Basketball Association in 2019-20.
If any NBA team is willing to give Stephenson a chance, then he'll look to prove that he can still be a solid contributor, like he was for much of his first eight seasons in the league.