“I did this off the bench stuff already for two years with OKC,” Schröder said. “I think with AD and LeBron, I can be helpful as a starter at the PG position so that LeBron don’t have so much stuff in his mind.”
Unfortunately for Schröder, it’s not up to him; it’s up to Frank Vogel, and according to a report from Dave McMenamin of ESPN on Monday, Vogel hasn’t decided who’s going to start for him yet:
The Lakers have not settled upon their starting lineup, sources told ESPN. Though Schroder will be considered for the starting point guard spot, he could also be asked to fill in off the bench, sources said.
The numbers Schroder posted with the Oklahoma City Thunder last season certainly earned him consideration for a starting spot with the Lakers. In 65 appearances off the bench for the Thunder last season, Schröder averaged 18.9 points per game on 46.9% shooting from the field and 38.5% shooting from behind the arc. He also averaged 4 assists and 3.6 rebounds per game.
However, talent isn’t the only thing that determines which players go into the starting lineup; fit plays a part too, and a starting back court of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Wesley Matthews would be more similar to the starting back court they had last season. Additionally, a back court of Schröder and Alex Caruso would stylistically resemble the duo of Rajon Rondo and Caruso; a duo that enjoyed success together in the postseason.
There are cases to be made for Schröder starting and Schröder coming off of the bench, but neither of them are his to make. Here’s to hoping Schröder can live with whatever decision Vogel comes to. Otherwise, the synergy the Lakers had in their locker room last season might face an early test during their title defense.