Veteran Guard Expected to Join Lakers in Coming Days After Issue

Getty Images Lakers coach Darvin Ham.

Dennis Schroder has missed the start of camp for the Los Angeles Lakers but is expected to join the team soon to get his second stint in purple and gold underway.

Schroder has been dealing with visa issues, which has kept him in Germany for the opening days of training camp. He’ll also miss the team’s first preseason game on Monday against the Sacramento Kings. The news on Schroder’s timeline came from ESPN’s Dave McMenamin on October 1:

Dennis Schroder, who has missed all of camp thus far after signing as a free agent last month, is expected to join the team as soon as midweek in Las Vegas after sorting out a visa issue that was keeping him in his native Germany.

Lakers coach Darvin Ham acknowledged that Schroder may need some time to get back into the flow of things but he has time. The Lakers open the season on October 18.

“He has his coaches over there that we communicate with,” Ham said. “He’s doing the best he can to stay in rhythm and to stay in shape. But it’s nothing like NBA basketball, being in an NBA setting. So once he gets here, we’ll be able to throw him right into the deep end of the pool and see how he responds.

“But Dennis is a high-level player, super duper competitor — and takes great care of himself. So it should be a quick turnaround with him getting in a rhythm.”

Schroder did play with the German National Team this offseason in the European Basketball Championship and delivered some strong play. He averaged 22.1 points and 7.1 assists in around 33 minutes per game.

Schroder Wants to Make Things ‘Right’

Schroder is expected to have a solid role in the rotation and could even find himself as a starter with a strong preseason. He appeared in 64 games — 29 starts — for the Celtics and Rockets last season, averaging 13.5 points on 34.4% shooting with 3.3 rebounds and 4.6 assists in 28.7 minutes.

Schroder is hoping this time around goes better than his first with the Lakers. Schroder started 61 games for the Lakers during the 2020-21 season, averaging 15.4 points, 3.5 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 1.1 steals in 61 games.

The Lakers offered Schroder a hefty $84 million extension but he turned that down, betting on himself. That turned out to be the wrong move, with free agent interest being very limited once he left the Lakers. He ended up settling for a one-year, $5.9 million deal with the Celtics.

“I’m coming back to the biggest organization to make sh–t right!” Schroder said on social media after the deal was announced.

Schroder Could Push Westbrook for Starting Role

The Lakers are still ironing out their starting lineup, with the role of Russell Westbrook being the big question. The Lakers tried to trade Westbrook this offseason but were unable to find a viable deal.

It was reported shortly after the signing last month by veteran NBA reporter Marc Stein that the Lakers view Westbrook and Schroder as their top two guards:

With Westbrook poised to remain a Laker when new coach Darvin Ham opens his first training camp as L.A.’s new coach, sources say Beverley is regarded internally by the club as a 3-and-D wing and not as a point guard at this stage of his career. The Lakers, in other words, see Westbrook and Schröder as their point guards as of Sept. 18 … and the likes of Beverley, Kendrick Nunn, Austin Reaves and Lonnie Walker IV as 2s and 3s.

Ham has not definitively said that Westbrook will be the starter, although he has ramped up expectations for the team’s big three, which also includes LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

“We have a three-man package, actually a play call, that they’re going to thrive in and it involves all three of them,” Ham said. “I look forward to that being at a very, very high level. And there’s different nuances in it that they can play around with. … I trust all three of those guys.”

Ham has been clear that the stars will play in the preseason and see more work than in years past.

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