Celtics

Here’s why new Celtics guard Dennis Schröder didn’t sign a lucrative contract with the Lakers

"Money is not everything at all times."

Dennis Schröder
Boston Celtics guard Dennis Schroder holds out his arms for a photo during the Boston Celtics Media Day. AP Photo/Mary Schwalm

All summer, Dennis Schröder took heat from fans on social media for passing on a lucrative contract the Lakers reportedly offered him last year, only to sign a much smaller deal with the Celtics.

The deal the Lakers offered, which was reportedly worth nearly $84 million, eclipsed the comparatively paltry $5.9 taxpayer mid-level exception Schröder took to sign for a season with Brad Stevens and the Celtics.

So what happened? According to Schröder, the situation is complicated.

“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 at Celtics media day. “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.

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“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.”

During the offseason, Schröder seemed to take the situation in stride. On his birthday, he took a photo of himself in front of a pair of expensive cars (presumably his) and a pile of expensive luggage (also presumably his) — a reference to jokes about him fumbling the bag.

“I’m gonna do this ONE time!” Schröder wrote. “Insert your best ‘fumbled the bag’ joke here.

“It’s my birthday, so let’s get this over with and get back to business!”

On media day, Schröder once again emphasized that he is doing fine financially, despite missing the boat on a big deal.

“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.

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“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.”

The Celtics are excited to be a launching pad for Schröder.

“I honestly didn’t think we had a shot at getting him or anything like that, but that was the one that I was like, ‘man,'” said Al Horford, who played with Schröder in Atlanta from 2013-16. “He has such an edge to him. …

“I just know that being in this position he is in now, he’s going to be great. When I saw that was a possibility, I was really hoping for it. I called Brad, I was like ‘Do we have a shot?’ He was like, ‘I don’t know, maybe.’ When things worked out, I was really happy.”

According to Schröder, the Celtics were enthusiastic recruiting him — Horford, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Ime Udoka and Brad Stevens all reached out. That convinced Schröder the franchise really wanted him.

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“I think Boston was just the right fit and the right mentality, how the organization works, the system, it’s a winning mentality that was just for me the right move to make,” Schröder said. “I hope that this is going to be for a long time.

“But like I said, this is new to me, I came here yesterday with my family. I just wanted to see how the organization is. I heard a lot of good things, even from [Oklahoma City Thunder GM] Sam Presti, I talk to him a lot. He said great things about this organization and I can’t wait to get further and meet all of those guys.”

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