Nine days ago, the Lakers became eligible to offer Dennis Schröder a larger contract extension than they previously could, a deal starting at $18.6 million and worth approximately $83 million over four years. The massively outweighs what the Lakers were previously allowed to — and did — offer, a two-year deal worth $33.4 million that Schröder turned down. Still, he said he wants to stay with the Lakers if the offer is “fair,” and now the Lakers might be able to get closer to a middle ground.
There are no signs that those talks have gone anywhere, as the team is currently on a four-game losing streak that coincides with Schröder’s absence due to the league’s health and safety protocols. But while that futility isn’t all because of Schröder’s absence — Anthony Davis is out too — it is telling of his value to this team that they literally have yet to win a single game without him this season as a result of this slump.
Whether that gets the Lakers to up whatever their current offer to Schröder is or see his value long-term more than they already did remains to be seen, but there have been signs that Schröder is getting more comfortable in Los Angeles, the biggest of which is that he finally closed on buying a home in Tarzana, according to Jack Flemming of the L.A. Times. That it comes right on the heels of him being eligible for a bigger extension is, at the very least, interesting timing:
Three months after being traded to the Lakers, Dennis Schroder has found a place to stay. Records show the German-born point guard just spent $4.275 million on contemporary home in Tarzana — about 20 miles from Staples Center.
According to Flemming, the house features “seven bedrooms, 10 bathrooms and a movie theater” as well as “two closets and balconies overlooking a backyard that includes a swimming pool, spa and outdoor kitchen.” It also includes an outdoor basketball court and basketball hoop in one of the guest bedrooms.
Seriously, check out the photos in here: This place is stunning.
Does this mean Schröder is definitely staying in Los Angeles? Not necessarily. Until he inks an extension, he’s still set to be an unrestricted free agent this summer. There is also the matter that even if he isn’t staying, plenty of players make their offseason homes in Los Angeles. LeBron James owned multiple homes in the area for years before he became a Laker, for example, and Southern California real estate always has value. Given that Schröder bought this home for around $225,000 less than it was originally listed for, maybe he just knows a good deal when he sees one.
That said, there are plenty of reasons — amazing home aside — for Schröder and the Lakers to want to make their marriage work long-term. The team’s 0-4 record without Schröder obviously shows his importance to the team, and there is also the matter that there is no easy way to replace him if he leaves, something my colleague Sabreena Merchant summarized well in her explainer on the extension negotiations, but to summarize briefly: The Lakers’ cap situation will make it basically impossible to get as good of a player to take Schröder’s place if he leaves. It’s not about whether or not they want to pay him $80-plus million over four years. It’s about if they want to do that, or lose one of their best players for nothing with basically no money to replace him.
We’ll see how extension talks shake out as the season continues and when Schröder returns, but even if this purchase doesn’t guarantee Schröder is staying, it seems like it’s at least likely an indicator that he’s thinking about it. For now, that’s a good omen in a week that hasn’t had many of those for the Lakers.