Dennis Schröder is expected to miss 10-14 days due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols, according to a report from Shams Charania of The Athletic on Monday. Schröder was a late scratch for Sunday’s game against the Raptors for the same reason.
If Schröder misses 10 days, he could theoretically return for the Lakers’ final two games against the Indiana Pacers and New Orleans Pelicans. If he misses two weeks, he’ll be out for the remainder of the regular season.
Schröder missed four games in February due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols, but that was four games over a one-week span for contact tracing. The only Laker that has missed more than a week due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols this season is Marc Gasol, who tested positive for COVID-19 in March. Alex Caruso, Alfonso McKinnie, Devontae Cacok, Kostas Antetokounmpo and athletic trainer Nina Hsieh have all also missed time in the protocols for the Lakers, but only Gasol tested positive.
Basketball obviously comes second to Schröder’s health, but his absence couldn’t have come at a worse time. Not only are the Lakers coming off of two of their worst losses of the season, but Schröder was playing some of his best basketball as a Laker. In the month of April, Schröder averaged 15.8 points, 8.3 assists and 1.1 steals per game.
Alex Caruso started in Schröder’s place on Sunday but it wouldn’t be surprising to see Frank Vogel shuffle the back court a bit while Schröder is out. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was technically the Lakers’ starting point guard in the playoffs last year out of necessity and he could fill the same role this year next to Wesley Matthews, who’s been a DNP-CD in the last four games. Talen Horton-Tucker is also an option Vogel could look at.
The NBA Playoffs don’t start for another three weeks, but with each untimely absence, it feels less likely that the Lakers will be fully healthy for the postseason.
This story may be updated as more information becomes available.