Lakers News: Dennis Schroder Contract Rumors, Kendrick Nunn on Free Agency, More

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistAugust 14, 2021

Lakers News: Dennis Schroder Contract Rumors, Kendrick Nunn on Free Agency, More

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    Ashley Landis/Associated Press

    The Los Angeles Lakers ended up not keeping their first-round selection in last month's draft. However, they still stole some of the spotlight by orchestrating a draft-day trade with the Washington Wizards to acquire Russell Westbrook.

    The trade kicked off a major retooling for Los Angeles—which parted with Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Montrezl Harrell while acquiring Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, Kendrick Nunn, Wayne Ellington and others.

    Ideally, the new-look roster will help LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Co. return to the NBA Finals. This was a deciding factor for players like Ellington and Nunn. Here, we'll examine some of their recent comments, along with the latest buzz on departed point guard Dennis Schroder.

Schroder May Not Have Gotten Firm Offer from L.A.

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    Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

    While Harrell, Kuzma and Caldwell-Pope were all dealt as part of the Westbrook deal, Schroder left the Lakers in free agency. He signed a one-year deal with the Boston Celtics worth the taxpayer mid-level exception of $5.89 million, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

    Before the signing was officially announced, there were reports that Schroder was distraught after turning down a four-year, $84 million deal from Los Angeles and subsequently taking a financial hit in free agency.

    "He needs time—I think he's in a state of shock because of what he's done," a source told Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald.

    According to ESPN's Jay Williams, however, the Lakers may have never actually presented the $84 million offer.

    "A lot comments abt Dennis Schroder lately 'turning down 4yr 84 mil'. But what I'm hearing from a credible source is that there was never an 'official' offer made. Interesting!" Williams tweeted.

    The reality is that we may never know if Schroder had a firm offer on the table from Los Angeles. Ultimately, it doesn't matter, as the Lakers traded for Westbrook, and Schroder moved on to Boston.

Nunn 'Honored' to Join Los Angeles

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    The trio of James, Davis and Westbrook should provide the Lakers with a tremendous championship opportunity in 2021-22. However, that wasn't the only selling point for free-agent guard Kendrick Nunn.

    For Nunn, joining a storied franchise like the Lakers is an honor.

    "It means a lot. I'm honored to be in this position to put on an L.A. Lakers jersey and it’s a powerhouse franchise and it means everything," Nunn said, per Matt Peralta of Lakers Nation. "It means a lot. Putting on and represent this city."

    While Nunn isn't a superstar on the level of L.A.'s new Big Three, he's a quality shooter (38.1 percent from 3-point range last season) who can help complement the Lakers' stars.

    "I feel like I belong honestly. I just want to bring my strengths here and fit alongside the guys in the locker room," Nunn said, per Peralta. "We all come together as one and get it done. We all come here for one goal."

    We'll find out soon enough just how well new pieces like Nunn will fit together on the floor.

Wayne Ellington Happy to Be Back

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    Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

    Nunn wasn't the only shooter Los Angeles added in free agency. The Lakers also brought in guard Wayne Ellington, who shot 42.2 percent from beyond the arc with the Detroit Pistons last season.

    Interestingly, this won't be Ellington's first go with the Lakers. He spent the 2014-15 season in Los Angeles before joining the Brooklyn Nets the following offseason. Ellington recently made it known how happy he is to be back.

    "I never really wanted to leave," Ellington said, per Jacob Rude of Silver Screen and Roll. "So to be back now, under these circumstances and in this situation, I couldn't be happier. It couldn't be more of a blessing for me and my family, so when they called and I spoke to Rob (Pelinka), I spoke to Coach (Frank Vogel), it was an easy decision."

    It certainly seems like joining the trio of James, Davis and Westbrook hasn't been an easy decision for many of the team's new additions.