Tuesday, September 27, 2022

LeBron James sounds at Dennis Schroder’s Lakers return

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The Los Angeles Lakers completed a significant expansion of their rotation on Friday, September 16, when they signed former point guard Dennis Schroder to a one-year contract.

Shortly after the news broke online, Lakers superstar LeBron James took to social media to share his thoughts on the Los Angeles front office’s latest move.

“Yeah! So damn happy to have you back!! You’re so! LFG!!!” James tweeted in response to Schroder’s return to the Lakers.

James and Schroder have shared the court before when Schroder was with the Lakers during the 2020-21 NBA season, with the veteran guard having an impressive season averaging 13.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 5 .8 assists per game while shooting 33.5%. from depth and 47.6% from two-point range.

During his first stint at Purple and Gold, Schroder was the starting two-guard, appearing in 61 regular-season games and an additional six post-season competitions. This time around, however, it remains to be seen whether Schroder will take a starting spot or rely on him taking a role as first guard off the bench – because we all know the Lakers could use an extra hit in their second unit.

The Lakers’ backcourt puzzle gets harder and harder to solve as the summer progresses, and Schroder’s addition to the rotation is the latest curveball for a fanbase waiting for their team to return for the postseason.

Suddenly, Los Angeles is overloaded with ball-dominant guards, most of whom are net-negative on defense while also needing an incredibly high utilization rate to be at their best. Last season we saw how Russell Westbrook’s run-and-gun style of play limited the other players around him – and while Schroder’s game isn’t at that level, he’s still someone who requires a strong commitment to succeed to be.

As such, Darvin Ham needs to get creative with his rotations as he tries to find a winning formula despite having a wealth of limited-scope shooters at his disposal — especially since the Lakers’ two mainstays, LeBron James and Anthony Davis, are both outstanding when you have the space to attack the rim at speed.

All summer in Europe, Schroder competed in the FIBA ​​Eurobasket competition against the best European players from around the world – including numerous members of the NBA.

Schroder was an intriguing member of the tournament, helping the Germany national team to a possible third place finish, averaging 21.6 points, 2.4 rebounds and 7.3 assists per game while shooting 43.1% from the field.

One would assume it was those lofty stats and impressive performances that convinced Rob Pelinka and the Lakers’ front office to make a contract offer to the keeper, who reportedly received an $80 contract extension just 12 months earlier from the franchise before signing a one-year deal with the Boston Celtics.

But while the addition of Braunschweig was seen as a good deal for the Lakers, the addition will further strain a poorly constructed backcourt and cast further doubt on the immediate future of Westbrook — who has been rumored to trade since the Lakers died last season missed playoffs. So don’t be surprised if Schroder isn’t the last deal we see in the front office in the coming weeks – because from the outside it looks like they still have a lot of work to do.

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