Dennis Schroder Gets Candid on LeBron James, Anthony Davis & Lakers Exit

Dennis Schroder says it was an honor playing with LeBron James and Anthony Davis

Getty Former Los Angeles Lakers teammates Dennis Schroder and LeBron James.

It wasn’t all too long ago that Dennis Schroder’s name served as a punchline. Rumored to have turned down an $84 million extension from the Lakers last season, Schroder ultimately settled for a one-year prove-it deal with the Celtics this past summer worth just $5.9 million. As one would expect, the internet had a field day with Schroder’s financial gaffe. However, fast forward a few months, and it’s evident Schroder’s exit from Los Angeles was no laughing matter.

The German guard has served as a key cog in helping Boston emerge from an early-season slump to win 11 of their last 17 games. Playing arguably some of the most well-rounded basketball of his career, Schroder is shooting 35.8% from 3-point range and averaging 17.9 points and 4.9 assists per game as he pads his resume for a likely lucrative payday next offseason.

Meanwhile, the Lakers have won just five of their last 12 games and currently sit in seventh place in the Western Conference. Russell Westbrook, the $44 million All-Star guard the team chose to replace Schroder with, has had a difficult time meshing with the likes of LeBron James and Anthony Davis — something Schroder is all too familiar with.

“To play with AD and LeBron,” Schroder told MassLive on December 7. “It was an honor to play with them and see every single day how they work and how they do things on the court, off the court, it’s just a blessing. It’s the reason I’m grateful that I’ve seen it but for me, personally, it wasn’t the right fit.”

Schroder on Lakers Contract & Finding Comfort With the Celtics

When Schroder joined the Lakers in 2020, he saw a role shift from Oklahoma City’s sixth man to Los Angeles’ starting point guard. In return, his scoring production took a hit across the board. In fact, his point (15.4), field goal percentage (43.7) and 3-point percentage (33.5) output were all the lowest he’s produced in a season since 2018-19. By Schroder’s account, a big reason for his dip in play was due to him being too tentative alongside Los Angeles’ star-studded one-two punch of James and Davis.

“That’s the reason I was hesitating a little bit,” Schroder noted. “The way I played is not how Dennis played over his whole career in the NBA so that’s the reason I was like, ‘Okay, I have to see how it’s going next.’ That’s the reason why I even didn’t talk to the organization and said, ‘Listen, we can talk about (the contract) after the season. I want to concentrate during the season to finish it.’ Now, in the situation I’m in, I think I’m 100 percent comfortable so far. You feel the appreciation, you feel the organization is trying to help you, your family, your friends or whatever. It’s been great so far. I mean, this is all I wanted and I think we can accomplish something big here.”

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Will Schroder Stick With the Cs?

The Celtics may be in a bit of a pickle when it comes to Schroder.

On the surface, he’s been one of the team’s best players and a near-constant scoring threat next to Jayson Tatum while Jaylen Brown works his way back to full health. He’s produced the type of numbers and on-court jolt any team would wish to have at their disposal. The problem is, he’s going to be extremely difficult, if not impossible to re-sign this coming offseason.

With that in mind, the Celtics may need to make a decision here in the next few months. Proceed as legitimate title contenders and get the most out of Schroder, or the less appealing scenario, admit their flaws and flip Schroder prior to the deadline in a tax-saving trade.


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