Dennis Schröder’s Redemption with the Lakers Quietly Makes Los Angeles Much Better
Growth for Schröder as captain of the German team
As the new captain of the German national team, Schröder averaged 22 points throughout the 2022 FIBA EuroBasket, leading his team to a surprising bronze metal finish. The Los Angeles Lakers signed guard Dennis Schröder to a one-year, $2.64 million deal just hours after he dropped 30 points in a loss to Spain in the tournament’s semifinals.
Reunion with the Los Angeles Lakers
Signing with the Lakers for a one-year veteran’s minimum salary has got to be humbling for Schröder, who in March of 2021, turned down the Lakers’ four-year, $84 million contract extension.
The Lakers are now getting Dennis Schröder playing arguably his best basketball ever, at a tremendously discounted rate.
Lakers Vice President of Basketball Operations and General Manager, Rob Pelinka, expressed optimism when announcing the recent signing deal with Dennis. Pelinka commented on Schröder’s history with Laker’s first-year head coach, Darvin Ham, from their time together in Atlanta.
Pelinka stated, “Not only do Dennis and Coach Ham share a player-coach history together, but they also reflect one another’s mentality of toughness with an extremely competitive edge.” Pelinka says he expects that “Dennis will add both depth and an on-ball defensive presense to our core at the guard position.”
How much of the Lakers’ title window is still open?
The Lakers title window may be closing, with an aging roster primarily composed of veteran players. LeBron James will still contribute at a high level, but turns 38 during the upcoming season.
Anthony Davis is only 29, but has battled serious injuries in recent seasons. Much of the Lakers success depends solely on AD staying healthy all season long.
How Does Vegas See The Lakers as a Threat to Winning the 2022/23 NBA Finals?
The impact of Schröder reuniting with the Lakers may not trigger the sportsbooks to significantly update their odds for the Lakers winning the title. As of September 2022, the average odds of several draftbooks, has the Los Angeles Lakers’ odds to win the 2022/23 NBA Finals at about +1900.
The intangible qualities Schröder possesses though, like toughness, the sheer will to win, and the pricelesss leadership skills he’s now gained through the German national team, should translate into success for the Lakers to at least make the playoffs and perhaps surprise everyone and make a deep playoff run.
Chance to Prove Dennis Schröder’s Critics Wrong
Just one season removed from a disappointing first-round playoff exit thanks to eventual Western Conference Champions, the Phoenix Suns, Schröder shared his excitement on Instagram in joining the Lakers again. Schröder wrote, “I hope Laker Nation [is] going to support me every single day!”
His comment could be seen as a challenge to Lakers legend Magic Johnson. Following the playoff loss, Johnson seemed to make Schröder the scapegoat of the series when he told LA Sports AM 570 that he didnt think Schröder “brings the winning mentality and attitude that we need.”
Magic must have forgotten that a serious groin injury to Anthony Davis is what largely derailed the Lakers chances of repeating and allowed the Suns to claw back in, take control of the series and eventually defeat the then-defending NBA Champions in six games.
Alongside other scrappy seasoned veteran Patrick Beverly, Schröder gives the Lakers another tenacious defender, capable of creating his own shots and handling the ball. We will have to wait and see if his contribution will be enough to catapult the Lakers past other Western Conference contenders like Phoenix or Golden State.
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