Arguably the most divisive and difficult decision of the Los Angeles Lakers’ offseason centers around the continuity of Dennis Schröder. The point guard had a largely positive debut season in purple and gold but was a disappointment in the playoffs. His off-court comments and decision to turn down a large extension offer have turned much of the fanbase against him.
Still, it’s certainly not out of the question for Schröder to return to Los Angeles next year. The Lakers don’t have much flexibility to replace him in the offseason and he may have lost himself some money with his postseason performance which could make a renewal of the marriage between the two sides beneficial for both parties.
That said, there does seem to be at least some interest in Schröder around the league. According to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, two teams who could be keeping tabs on the point guard are the New York Knicks and Chicago Bulls. It’s worth noting that Fischer’s word choice (“league sources expect Chicago and New York to emerge” as suitors) indicates that this reporting could be getting advanced by parties outside of the supposed interested teams.
Still, the Bulls and Knicks do seem like logical destinations for Schröder. The Knicks desperately need ball handlers to ease the pressure on Julius Randle and have plenty of money and playing time to offer to the German. The Bulls can also use another playmaker alongside Zach LaVine and need someone to play better point-of-attack defense for a team seeking to finally make the playoffs again.
Either team pursuing Schröder – and especially in the case of the Bulls – could potentially lead to a sign-and-trade to ship him out. In fact, if the Lakers are unable to keep the point guard on a reasonable deal, they will almost certainly pursue such a scenario so that they do not lose him for nothing. Before the trade deadline, there were reported talks between the Lakers and Raptors about a Schröder for Kyle Lowry swap that could be revisited in the summer; according to Fischer, both LA teams are interested in the NBA champion point guard.
Regardless of what happens, it feels as though this saga could take a while to resolve. Both sides have some leverage to use whether it results in Schröder returning to LA, even temporarily, or a separation between the two sides.