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Los Angeles traded for Schroder at the start of this season to bring more scoring alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
Though Schroder displayed proficiency in his role when the Lakers were fully healthy, his inability to step up in the playoffs hurt his stock.
Still, Schroder reportedly wants a contract in the range of $100-120 million, which could place the Lakers in a sticky spot financially.
The Lakers shouldn’t let a player of Schroder’s caliber walk for nothing, as that would be poor asset management; plus, the alternatives to life without Schroder aren’t optimal since the free-agent market isn’t loaded with the style of point guards L.A. needs.
If Los Angeles doesn’t want to have Schroder on its books for that amount, a sign-and-trade with another team could be a viable option. And, according to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, teams could be vying for Schroder’s services:
“League sources expect Chicago and New York to emerge as Schroder suitors, and both could be conducted via sign-and-trade—although Knicks certainly have the cap space to sign him outright. New York will likely have north of $50 million to spend this summer.”
The Chicago Bulls had Coby White and Zach LaVine as the starters last season, so Schroder could either slot in as the sixth man — and he’d be an upgrade over Tomas Satoransky — or take White’s spot, depending on how Chicago sees it.
The New York Knicks, as mentioned, have plenty of cap space to give Schroder what he’s looking for, but there could be better options for New York to utilize its resources on.
But the Knicks had a severe lack of offensive creators, and it showed come playoff time. Against the Atlanta Hawks, Julius Randle had a difficult time putting up his usual numbers since Atlanta didn’t respect anyone else’s offensive prowess.
Derrick Rose stepped up to the occasion, but New York clearly needs more. Rose is also a free agent this summer, too, which adds more uncertainty to what the Knicks will do.
Despite his shortcomings, Schroder is still one of the best free agents in this class for good reason. The Lakers must manage his situation carefully however it goes.