Dennis Schröder found a new home with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Schröder, now entering his 8th year in the league, has established himself as a bonafide 6th man, and is now being considered for a starting role. The Lakers seem to have gotten even better, and Schröder is a big reason why.
It is clear that Dennis Schröder can help the Lakers, but there is another question that must be asked: How can the Lakers help Dennis Schröder?
Ever since Dennis was drafted out of Germany in 2013 at the young age of 20, the point guard has been competing in big stages of NBA play. Schröder began his career in Atlanta, playing behind Jeff Teague for a consistent playoff team in the Atlanta Hawks.
The Atlanta Hawks chose Schröder over Teague, and he spent the final two years of his career in Atlanta as a starter before he was traded to Oklahoma City in a three-team deal that also included the Philadelphia 76ers.
Once in OKC, Schröder became a key part of a scary Thunder team, playing starter minutes while coming off the bench behind Russell Westbrook. After Westbrook was swapped with Chris Paul, Schröder was once again backing up and learning from a Hall of Fame point guard, and it propelled him to be a runner-up to Montrezl Harrell for the Sixth Man of the Year Award, and have the best season of his life, so far.
Before being traded to the Lakers in exchange for Danny Green and the 28th pick, Dennis was coming off of a season where he had career highs for FG% (46.9%), 3P% (38.5%), and eFG% (53.4%). He managed to improve his efficiency as a scorer, leading him to a season average of 18.9 PPG while still dishing out 4 APG.
Now, DS17 will be mentored by and playing alongside one of the greatest players, passers, and basketball minds of all-time in LeBron James.
Along with Montrezl Harrell, whether as a starter or just a serious minutes contributor off of the bench, Schröder has a chance to be the 3rd man on a team that has a real shot at the Finals for the next half of a decade, and becoming the Lakers dynasty of the 2020s.
Now, Schröder’s contributions to building a dynasty with the defending champs are contingent on him being resigned after the 2020-2021 season, as he could look for a large paycheck if he has another impressive season. However, I believe that it is in the Lakers, as well as Dennis’ best interest, to keep him in the purple and gold for multiple years.
Schröder is an upgrade from Rajon Rondo, and while he is not the defender or the passing magician that Rondo is, he makes up for it with his 3-point shooting, scoring ability, and naturally, his age and potential going forward.
Schröder adds offense and can be the third scoring option on a Lakers team that ranked just outside the top third in PPG last season. Dennis will look to improve on the impressive boost that Rondo gave the team during their championship run in the bubble.
Interestingly, the veteran that Dennis Schröder is replacing was a player who many people around basketball compared DS17 to early in his career. Whether it is their size, long arms, large hands, broad shoulders, skillset, or play style, it was apparent early on that the young German guard had stark similarities to the 4-time NBA All-Star Rajon Rondo.
As a young kid from Atlanta, I grew up watching and attending Hawks games. I said from the very beginning of his career, I truly believe that Dennis Schröder can be an even better version of Rajon Rondo, which is an incredibly tall task considering Rondo had already completed a large portion of a possible Hall of Fame resumé.
So, what does joining the LA Lakers mean for Dennis Schröder? Assuming he will be a part of LA’s future plans, as long as AD and LBJ stay healthy, it means he will be a key piece to competing for the Larry O’Brien Trophy until at least 2022-2023.
The acquisition that brought Schröder to the Lakers is setting him up for what will be the defining years of his time in the NBA. Dennis’ entire career has been trending upwards, and the 27-year-old seems to be entering what should be the prime years of his career.
Dennis Schröder has a real shot to be a main character in the story of this Los Angeles Lakers team. It could be expected that with that said, All-Star Game appearances may be just over the horizon, as well as some finger jewelry.
The most important and biggest stage of Schröder’s career will be underway in only two weeks, and he has an opportunity to elevate his status over the next few years to be remembered as an All-Star, champion, or dare I say it…something even better.