The Los Angeles Lakers received an important update on a star’s future on October 6th.
According to Dave McMenamin of ESPN, Dennis Schroder is scheduled to fly from Germany to Los Angeles and report to the Lakers this weekend after missing the first week and a half of training camp. The veteran point guard had an issue with his visa that delayed his trip to America.
Schroder signed a veteran’s minimum contract with the Lakers following an outstanding showing at the FIBA EuroBasket tournament. The 29-year-old appeared in 61 games for the purple and gold during the 2020-21 season, averaging 15.4 points, 3.5 rebounds and 5.8 assists while shooting 43.7% from the field, 33.5% from beyond the arc and 84.8% from the free-throw line.
After Schroder signed with the Lakers, he wrote the following message on Instagram: “This past year didn’t feel right. I felt misunderstood & nobody really knew the story! I’m coming back to the biggest organization to make sh*t right! I hope LakerNation going to support me every single day! I will give everything I have every single day! It’s an honor to play for the Lakers. Can’t wait to get started!”
Lakers Felt Comfortable Bringing Schroder Back
Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times reported on September 16th that Schroder’s attitude this summer playing for the German national team made the Lakers comfortable bringing him back into the organization. The Braunschweig native has a prior relationship with new head coach Darvin Ham, who was an assistant with the Atlanta Hawks when Schroder began his NBA career. Schroder also played alongside Russell Westbrook on the Oklahoma City Thunder during the 2018-19 season.
“Sources familiar with the decision to add Schroder said his attitude this summer playing for the German national team in the European championships, where he’s averaged more than 21 points and seven assists, made the Lakers comfortable with bringing him back into the organization,” Woike reported. “Multiple sources cited the success Dwight Howard had with the 2019-20 championship team as an example of a player’s successful return to the organization with a new approach they hope can be mirrored with Schroder.”
The Lakers travel from Los Angeles to San Francisco on October 8th to play the fourth game of their six-game preseason schedule on October 9th against the Golden State Warriors. It has yet to be determined whether Schroder will be able to join the team for the trip, per McMenamin.
“He’s doing the best he can to stay in rhythm and to stay in shape,” Ham said last week when asked about Schroder. “But it’s nothing like NBA basketball and 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, high-level player. Super-duper competitor and takes great care of himself. So, it should be a quick turnaround for him getting into a rhythm.”
LeBron James & Schroder Were Great Together
The Lakers went 30-10 in 2020-21 when LeBron James and Schroder played. James averaged 25.2 points, 7.7 rebounds and 7.8 assists in 40 games with Schroder. Meanwhile, Schroder averaged 14.2 points, 3.6 rebounds and 4.6 assists alongside James.
Schroder was a better fit next to James and Anthony Davis in 2020-21 than Westbrook was last season. Westbrook, a future Hall of Famer, was second in the NBA in turnovers and had the sixth-worst effective field goal percentage. The one-time MVP was also 42nd in true shooting percentage.