On Wednesday, Dennis Schröder inadvertently (or intentionally? who knows?) made waves among Lakers fans by posting multiple pictures on his Instagram of his child draped in a “Schröder Jr” Lakers jersey, and the photos immediately ignited conversations online on a potential return of the former Lakers guard.
After going their separate ways following the 2021 NBA season, the Lakers and Schröder have both been in a downward spiral.
Schröder has since been on two other NBA teams, one that immediately turned into one of the greatest defenses in league history and made a run to the NBA Finals after his departure. He currently still hasn’t signed a new contract, with training camp being just weeks away. Meanwhile, the Lakers’ trade for Russell Westbrook has been a disaster, as their first season together went terribly, and the team has been unable to find a trade partner to remove him from the roster.
Schröder is currently playing for Germany in Eurobasket, with averages of 20.2 points and 7.2 assists through his six games. His team just eliminated Greece — led by Giannis Antetokounmpo — from the tournament, with a matchup against Spain in the semifinals on Friday. And it’s hard to remember because the 2021 playoffs blurred a lot of the positives from that regular season for the Lakers, but in a season where LeBron James and Anthony Davis combined to play a total of 27 games together, the Lakers finished the regular season 1st in defense. A lot of it was because of the point-of-attack defense by Schröder, and his on-ball shot creation kept their offense afloat. He played well enough that Rob Pelinka reportedly offered him a four-year, $84 million extension during the season, which he turned down.
Schröder finished the 2020-21 season starting 61 games, putting up 15.4 points and 5.8 assists. The 0-for-9 shooting performance in Game 4 of the playoffs against the Phoenix Suns is what’s plastered in everyone’s memory, but the Lakers don’t win Game 2 or 3 without his 24 and 20 points, respectively.
The Lakers have a rotation already full of guards, and adding another one with questionable abilities to shoot could cause even more rotation issues, but this is clearly an unfinished roster. With limited free agents left on the market — and a trade yet to come? we can only dream — maybe the time is right for the two parties to come back together.
On this week’s episode of “I Love Basketball”, Raj and Sabreena dive into the pros and cons of bringing back Schröder, and also give thoughts on the soft ruling by Adam Silver and the league office on their investigation of Robert Sarver.
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And for a short-form recap pod, check out Lakers Lowdown, in which Anthony Irwin recaps the previous day’s news and gets you ready for the day ahead in LakerLand, every weekday morning on the Silver Screen & Roll Podcast feed.