Dennis Schroder sets record straight in Lakers practice debut

Dennis Schroder’s first order of business Monday after his first day of practice with the Lakers was to tell his side of the story over reports that he turned down a lucrative contract extension during his first stint with Los Angeles.

Schroder claimed that there was “never a contract offer” from the Lakers that the media reported when the point guard played for them in the 2020-21 season.

According to numerous media reports, Schroder turned down a four-year deal worth about $80 million offered by Rob Pelinka, the Lakers’ vice president of basketball operations and general manager. Schroder is back with the Lakers on a one-year, $2.64 million veteran contract.

“There was never a contract, nothing was ever rejected,” said Schröder. “I don’t know who brought this up, but that’s the media, you know? But at the end of the day I don’t have a contract and I’m just happy to be here. Like you said, we still have scores to settle and we just have to take care of things and win a chip [championship]. I think that’s the goal, and otherwise there’s something wrong with the treaty. But I think you can ask Rob and see what he has to say about it.”

Schroder joined the Boston Celtics last year on a one-year, $5.9 million contract but finished the season with the Houston Rockets, playing 64 games overall, averaging 13.5 points and 4.6 assists.

Although only 29 years old, Schroder is entering his 10th season in the NBA.

He was asked whether job security and a long-term deal were important to him.

“Obviously signing a big deal and a longer term deal would be great and that’s still my goal,” he said. “But at the end of the day we are here now and I will do whatever it takes to help my teammates win ball games now.”

Schroder has been solid for those Lakers during his only season with the team. He averaged 15.4 points and 5.8 assists and played well on defense.

Schroder and new Lakers coach Darvin Ham have a previous relationship dating back to when they were with the Atlanta Hawks for five years.

On his first day of training, Ham saw how tough Schroder could be on defense.

“He definitely [was] We picked up the full pitch doing our little scrimmaging session,” Ham said. “But also being aware that he wasn’t there, so he’s trying to accommodate things like we’re doing. We did a lot of that when he was defensive with us in Atlanta. Offensively it’s a bit different, but it’s not too complicated where he can’t pick it up on the fly. So we let our trainers write it. He and some other guys are going to have a really good script session over the next few days. I expect him to face the situation, take in all the information and be able to apply it fairly quickly.”

Ham said Schroder will play a few minutes in Wednesday night’s exhibition game against the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Arena.

While Schröder previously started for the Lakers, he now wants to live up to his role.

“Defensively for me, I’ll try to be defensive,” he said. “Obviously try to involve my teammates and be aggressive like I have been for the last nine years before. And I look forward to competing with Pat Bev [Beverley]. I’ve played against him a few times. I saw today that he’s a bit different and I mean I like it. We are all competitors and we try to catch up.” Dennis Schroder sets record straight in Lakers practice debut

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