It’s been a tough past couple of seasons for Dennis Schroder. He turned down a four-year, $84 million extension offer from the Los Angeles Lakers midway through the 2020-21 season in hopes that he could get a bigger deal on the market.
That gamble backfired quite spectacularly for Schroder, and he ended up having to sign a one-year, $5 million deal with the Boston Celtics last offseason. Schroder didn’t even make it an entire season with the C’s, as he got dumped off to the Houston Rockets at the trade deadline, and a year later, he’s once again a free agent searching for a new home.
Schroder may be angling for a return to the Los Angeles Lakers
Schroder is still a solid bench option and should be able to find a new team to join before the start of the upcoming season. But if it were up to him, it sounds like he would be willing to return to the Los Angeles Lakers next season and try to run it back with LeBron James and company.
When LeBron commented on Schroder’s most recent Instagram post, Schroder responded by saying, “might gotta run it back?!” implying that he would be willing to return to Los Angeles after just one season away from them. The Lakers could certainly use all the help they can get, and there may be mutual interest in a reunion later in the offseason.
Schroder rejoining the Lakers would have huge repercussions throughout the league
The potential addition of Schroder to the Lakers seems like a fairly unimportant development. Schroder has already played with L.A., fits an area of need off their bench, and seems willing to return there. But if Schroder ended up on the Lakers, it could signal the end of their pursuit of Brooklyn Nets unhappy guard Kyrie Irving.
Irving has made it known he intends to end up on the Lakers, whether it be through a trade with the Nets or when he becomes a free agent next offseason. But if Los Angeles decided to bring Schroder aboard this offseason, it would all but end their pursuit of Irving, at least this offseason.
For the Lakers, that would likely mean they would have to hold onto Russell Westbrook for the upcoming season and hope he can make things work alongside James and Anthony Davis. Schroder would come off the bench in place of Westbrook from time to time, and while it wouldn’t be their preferred guard rotation, there are worse options at the position.
On the other hand, the Nets would probably have to deal with a disgruntled Irving for the upcoming season. Since no other team besides the Lakers has shown much interest in Irving, they wouldn’t have any other option. Whether or not that would actually upset Brooklyn remains to be seen, as they don’t seem intent on trading Irving for below market value.
This shows how Schroder and James’ relatively innocent interaction on Instagram could have a massive impact on how the NBA looks next season if Schroder were to return to the Lakers. Nothing is official yet, but if Schroder ends up back in Los Angeles, it could be a much bigger deal than initially expected.