Proverbs 16:18 says, “Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”
Well, the NBA world is watching the unceremonious tumble of guard Dennis Schröder, whom the Los Angeles Lakers once offered $84 million over four years, now accept the mid-level exception of $5.9 million for one season from the Boston Celtics. According to the Boston Herald‘s Mark Murphy, Schröder needed time to process the result of his botched free agency gambit and was “in a state of shock because of what he’s done.”
Schröder’s highest accolade thus far has been as the runner-up for the Sixth Man of the Year award in the 2019-2020 season, and his efforts that year netted him a trade from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the bright lights of L.A., alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis, rocking the purple-and-gold.
Although he had an inconsistent run with the Lakers and the team failed to repeat as champions, Schröder was still of interest to management and offered an extension for a few more seasons. Yet, he turned it down in favor of testing the market and in the hopes of securing a contract in the neighborhood of $100-120 million. Schröder explained to the Los Angeles Times, “It wasn’t about money, because everybody who knows me, it’s not about money either… At the end of the day, if everything is good, we gonna come back and win a championship next year.”
But everything clearly wasn’t good in Tinseltown. Retired Lakers great and 5x champion Magic Johnson even said, “Schröder — I don’t think he’s a Laker… I don’t know if they’re gonna sign him back or not. I don’t think he brings the winning mentality and attitude that we need. He had a chance to show that in [this year’s first-round playoff series versus the Phoenix Suns]. And to me, he failed in this series.”
So the Lakers went shopping for a new cast of characters to place around James and A.D. Fan fave Alex Caruso was let go and ended up with the Chicago Bulls, receiving a 4 year/$37 million contract. Former Lakers Dwight Howard and Trevor Ariza were brought back into the fold, and the team re-signed guard Talen Horton-Tucker. The proper nail in the coffin for Schröder, however, was when the Lakers traded away Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (along with this year’s first-round draft pick) for “Mr. Triple Double,” 9x All-Star Russell Westbrook.
With one year to reprove himself in a backup role to 2x NBA All-Defensive First Team guard Marcus Smart, Schröder reportedly still has hopes he can finagle his way back to consideration for another major deal.
Interestingly, though, the title of this off-season’s biggest loser in free agency may actually go to Victor Oladipo. After a stellar 2018 season that saw him emerge as that season’s leader in steals, make the first of two All-Star appearances, and nominated as the league’s most improved player, Oladipo has been neither consistent nor consistently healthy and turned two big-time deals (a $112M/4yr extension from the Indiana Pacers in 2020 and a $45.2M/2yr deal from the Houston Rockets last year) for one year with the Miami Heat at the veteran’s minimum of about $2.4M.
Check out how Schröder’s been getting roasted on Twitter, and tell us if you think he has any real shot past this year.