Dennis Schroder signed with the Boston Celtics for the $5.9 million taxpayer midlevel exception this past offseason. In doing so, he ended a long-running soap opera-type storyline around his free agency.
Part of why Schroder’s decision to ultimately settle for less than $6 million was viewed as such an L was because he had reportedly turned down an $84 million deal from the Los Angeles Lakers during the season. Not only was he said to have rejected the deal, but he had allegedly done it in super-dramatic fashion.
Schroder, as the story went, believed he deserved north of $100 million.
This week, Schroder spoke to the press during the Celtics’ media day and tried to clear some things up.
“The Lakers told us we are not talking during the season, and at the end of the day, I never had that contract in front of me,” Schröder told reporters. “That’s one thing. But they wanted to talk and at the end of the day, me and my agent decided not to sign their contract.
“At the end of the day, I feel like for me, personally, I got to be comfortable in the environment I’m in. I love the Lakers organization and they did great things, but I think for me, and this is just business, I don’t think I fit in 100 percent. You play with LeBron and AD, that’s two of the best players in the NBA, and I don’t think I gave them everything that I bring to the table.”
As far as the money he left on the table, Schroder insisted he is not sweating it.
“For me and my family, I signed a pretty good contract after my fourth year, and my family and myself, we’re going to be good,” he said. “I’m 28 years old, and I’m still playing in the NBA for a long time.
“Money is not everything at all times. I want to be comfortable in a situation where I know people appreciate me. At the end of the day, that’s it. And that all this stuff happened how it happened, you just got to look forward and just try to keep improving, and try to show people what you’re capable of, and then everything will come back.”
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Schroder’s relatively calm take on this whole situation is a far cry from how he was said to have been in the immediate aftermath of his disastrous free agency. The reaction at that point was described as “full of disbelief and regret.”
Will Schroder ultimately experience a bounce back campaign in Boston? For his sake, hopefully. Because if he doesn’t, and should he never again reach the sort of money the Lakers were said to have offered him, it go down as the biggest regret of his life.