Dennis Schroder hasn’t played a game with the Los Angeles Lakers yet but he’s already trying to use his leverage. After mostly coming off the bench for the Oklahoma City Thunder, he wants a starting role and he’s not being shy about it. In his first official comments to the media as a Laker, he made it clear that he’s done coming off the bench.
“I did this off-the-bench stuff already in two years with OKC,” Schroder said on a videoconference call with reporters Monday. “I think I try to move forward, and I think with [Anthony Davis] and LeBron, I can be helpful as a starter in the PG position.”
Schroder is in a contract year and suggested that his agent made it clear he wants to start before they traded for him.
“I think my agent talked to the organization before they was trading me,” Schroder said. “So, that’s that.”
If the Lakers knew he was gunning for a starting gig, then these comments don’t come as a surprise to them. However, it sounds like they may not give in to his demands, according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin:
The Lakers have not settled upon their starting lineup, sources told ESPN. Though Schroder will be considered for the starting point guard spot, he could also be asked to fill in off the bench, sources said.
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Schroder Open to Long-Term Deal
Should the Lakers keep Schroder out of the starting lineup, that could rub the guard the wrong way. He’s in the last year of his contract so he does have leverage here. He said he’s open to a long deal but is keeping his sights set on this season.
“End of the day, I just try to focus on this year,” Schroder said. “But if it’s a fair deal and everything goes right, then, of course, I think long term. But I just try to lock in now for this season, take it day by day and let’s see if we come to an agreement on that.”
If the Lakers have long-term plans for Schroder, they need to consider giving in to his request to start. He’s excellent off the bench but should still be solid in the starting rotation. The Lakers might have to switch things up to make it work but Frank Vogel is smart enough to figure it out.
Schroder Honored to Play for Lakers
Schroder hasn’t competed for a championship throughout his seven seasons in the NBA but he’s going to finally get his chance. The Lakers are the league’s premier franchise and he’s hyped up to play for them.
“It’s an honor to be here in this organization,” Schroder said. “I think they brought me in for a reason. You know, we’ll try to get the repeat. I think for this organization, winning 17 championships, this history is big-time. And to be in the biggest platform in the NBA, biggest team, biggest organization, I think I’m excited. I’m honored that I’m here. And I can’t wait to get started.”
If he helps the Lakers win yet again, he’s going to get a lot of love from the fan base.