Lonzo Ball one day, and Dennis Schroder the next. That’s the NBA offseason for ya.
According to Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer, word around the league has the Bulls with their eye on Los Angeles Lakers points guard Dennis Schroder this summer. And unsurprisingly, their competition could be a team out East.
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.
Schroder averaged 15.4 points (43.5 FG%, 33.5 sPT%), 5.8 assists, 3.5 rebounds, and 1.1 steals per game in his first season in LA. He flashed the kind of streaky scoring and consistent playmaking that made him an attractive trade candidate for the team in the first place, but whether or not it was enough to garner the kind of respect he covets in this offseason market is an extremely valid question.
Rumors have swirled that Schroder, 27, is looking for a contract that will net him $100-120 million. He reportedly turned down a four-year $84 million extension from the Lakers earlier this season. I feel pretty confident saying the Chicago Bulls will not look to give Schroder anywhere near that chunk of change. He can throw this number around all he wants, but the market will ultimately dictate how much he gets paid. And while the Bulls organization does have moves that can open up workable cap space, they also need the flexibility to continue improving this roster.
In a lot of ways, a rumor like this is easy to float, because the Bulls pretty plainly need a point guard. Sure, there could be some legitimate interest there, but you have to question the source of that information and how it might help Schroder’s market. You also wonder how strongly this front office believes Schroder would move the needle.
There is no question Schroder would give this starting lineup another strong ballhandler and hard-working perimeter defender. He should also help create more transition opportunities and display a strong willingness to get to the rim. During the 2019-20 season, Schroder averaged a career-high 63 percent at the rim, and this past season he got to the free-throw line for a career-high 4.0 attempts per game.
With that said, Schroder has a tendency to play with a score-first mindset. He also has not been the most consistent 3-point shooter during his eight seasons in the league, which is a skill set the Bulls would prefer to add alongside the LaVine-Vucevic combo. The dude is a good player, but I think it’s fair to say he has many “good-not-great” qualities. With the sort of money he’s seeking, the Bulls would probably be better-suited spending on a younger asset (like Lonzo Ball) or grabbing a cheaper veteran (like Spencer Dinwiddie).
Again, I do think the Bulls have him somewhere on their radar thanks to their desperate need for a more experienced lead guard. But I am just not sure the team is ready to put up any kind of strong fight for him.