With the 2022-23 NBA season rapidly approaching, the Los Angeles Lakers have signed free agent point guard Dennis Schroder, the team announced on Friday. Our NBA Insider Bill Reiter confirms that the contract is for one year, $2.64 million. A nine-year NBA veteran, Schroder previously played for the Lakers during the 2020-21 season, when he averaged 15.4 points and 5.8 assists in 61 games.
After a disappointing 2021-22 campaign in which they missed the postseason, the Lakers have essentially rebuilt their entire roster around LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook, bringing in players like Patrick Beverley, Lonnie Walker IV, Juan Toscano-Anderson and now Schroder. While the goal of the Lakers’ offseason seemed to be getting younger and more athletic, established veteran pieces like Beverley and Schroder give them more known commodities heading into the upcoming season.
“We are extremely pleased to welcome Dennis Schroder back to the Lakers,” Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka said in a statement. “Not only do Dennis and Coach [Darvin] Ham share a player-coach history together, but they also reflect one another’s mentality of toughness with an extremely competitive edge. Dennis will add both depth and an on-ball defensive presence to our core at the guard position. He is also a proven scorer and playmaker. We are really excited for Dennis to get to camp and get back to work in L.A. after his highly successful run with his national team this offseason.”
Now that the Lakers have three point guards on the roster (four if you count Kendrick Nunn), questions will continue to arise about the future of Westbrook in Los Angeles. The Lakers have reportedly been shopping the embattled former All-Star for quite some time, and adding another point guard only creates more fuel for the fire. That being said, Ham has said that he has a plan for how to utilize Westbrook in the coming season.
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Schroder averaged 14.4 points and 4.2 assists in a part-time starter role for the Boston Celtics last season before being traded to the Houston Rockets, where he only played 15 games. Though he’s never been particularly efficient (44/34/83 shooting splits for his career), Schroder has always put up numbers, particularly points and assists. He averaged a career-high 19.4 points for the Hawks in 2016-17, and finished second in Sixth Man of the Year voting in 2019-20 after putting up 18.9 points and four assists per game for the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Lakers likely will not ask Schroder to be the team’s primary playmaker, but he can certainly provide a scoring punch off the bench for an offense that finished 22nd in the NBA last season.