Should the Los Angeles Lakers sign Dennis Schroder to a long-term contract?
The Los Angeles Lakers have two other point guards on the squad, Alex Caruso and Talen Horton-Tucker.
Alex Caruso’s up to his old tricks again on defense. He’s ranked second in the league in defensive rating (minimum 15 MPG, eight games played); we have to consider him one of the five best perimeter defenders in the league.
Last season AC was awful from deep, but a quarter way through this year, he’s sixth in the NBA in three-point shooting at 50 percent. Overall, Alex Caruso is one of, if not the best, 3-and-D player in the league.
Talen Horton-Tucker is a per 36 minutes stud with averages of 15 PPG, 6 RPG, 4 APG, 2 SPG, and an impressive 103 defensive rating. THT has shown throughout 2021 that he has a knack for getting to the rim and finishing difficult shots. And he’s a menace on the less glamorous side of the ball.
Alex Caruso has been dynamic throughout the early season, and he’s more important to the Lakers than most fans and pundits realize. Still, he can’t do what Dennis Schroder does on the court. AC’s a different type of player. Talen Horton-Tucker looks good in short bursts, but he’s too young to be a major contributor on a championship contender.
Schroder’s tenacity, speed, and ability to pressure opposing defenses with his reckless drives to the rim compliments Caruso’s attributes seamlessly. Caruso’s perfectly suited to harass bulkier wings and point guards on defense and to create space for LeBron James and Anthony Davis on offense. When opposing teams decide to throw two hulking wings at the Lakers, Frank Vogel can insert Horton-Tucker next to AC to slow them down.
Dennis Schroder and Alex Caruso are the perfect yin and yang players. Schroder is the lightning, and Caruso is the thunder. Throw in THT to that equation, and you have an impressive guard rotation.
Dennis Schroder’s numbers haven’t been great, but individual stats aren’t everything. The Lakers starting lineup of Schroder, Caldwell-Pope, James, Davis, and Gasol ranks third in the NBA in point differential at +75, and once again, the Lakers are 16-6 with the top-ranked defense in the association. Dennis Schroder’s third on the Lakers in minutes per game (30.6), so he must get some credit for the Purple and Gold’s success.
Dennis Schroder shouldn’t close games; Alex Caruso is the better defender, and outside shooter, so he should finish contests with LBJ and AD. You could even make the case that AC should start, and Schroder, the prototypical energy guy, should provide a spark off the bench.
Perhaps Dennis Schroder should start. Perhaps he should come off the bench. It’s hard to say what the perfect role is for the Lakers’ imperfect point guard. One thing is clear: Dennis Schroder is a valuable player, and the Los Angeles Lakers front office should look to extend him long term.