Report: Lakers expected to try to retain Dennis Schroder and Lonnie Walker IV

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read

The Los Angeles Lakers reportedly are expected to try to keep both guard Dennis Schroder and guard Lonnie Walker IV in free agency this offseason.

Both players are unrestricted free agents.

“The Lakers are also expected to try to retain unrestricted free agents Dennis Schröder and Lonnie Walker IV, though they do not have full Bird rights on either,” The Athletic’s Jovan Buha wrote.

The Lakers clearly want to keep two role players that helped them make the Western Conference Finals in the 2022-23 season.

Schroder played a big role for the Lakers in the 2022-23 season, starting 50 of the 66 games he appeared in. The veteran guard averaged 12.6 points, 2.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game for Los Angeles.

It was his second stint with the team after also playing with Los Angeles in the 2020-21 campaign. Bringing Schroder back would give the team some insurance if it can’t retain guard D’Angelo Russell, who is also an unrestricted free agent.

“But all indications, both publicly and privately, point to the organization planning to re-sign restricted free agents Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura and unrestricted free agent D’Angelo Russell,” Buha wrote.

Walker came on strong for the Lakers in the playoffs in the series against the Golden State Warriors in the second round.

After not playing in Game 1, Walker scored nine points in Game 2, 12 points in Game 3, 15 points in Game 4 and 13 points in Game 6 to help the Lakers win the series.

During the 2022-23 regular season, Walker averaged 11.7 points, 1.9 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game while shooting 44.8 percent from the field and 36.5 percent from beyond the arc.

He gives the Lakers a solid scoring punch when needed, and it would make sense for the team to retain him if he doesn’t come at a price that is out of the Lakers’ range this offseason.

Since the Lakers don’t have the Bird rights for either Schroder or Walker, they may have to get creative to bring them back to the team by using either the mid-level or bi-annual exceptions.

Los Angeles showed after the trade deadline in the 2022-23 season that it is one of the better teams in the NBA. If the team can return most of the core from its playoff run, it should be a force in the Western Conference in the 2023-24 season.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.