Dennis Schroder is returning to the Lakers despite a rough end to his previous stint in LA

Dennis Schroder is returning to the Lakers despite a rough end to his previous stint in LA

Oh, how things can change in a year.

Veteran point guard Dennis Schroeder is signing a one-year, $2.64 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers, returning him to the same team that unceremoniously let him go last summer, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Schroder is coming off a season split between the Boston Celtics and Houston Rockets in which he averaged 13.5 points and 4.6 assists per game while shooting 43.1% from the field (34.4% from deep). Before that, he was playing for the Lakers.

Dennis Schroeder’s first stint with the Lakers was a disaster

Schroeder first joined the Lakers in November 2020, with high expectations for the then-defending champions. The German effectively replaced Danny Green, a frequent target of Lakers fans’ ire, in the starting lineup after a career season with the Oklahoma City Thunder in which he was runner-up for NBA Sixth Man of the Year.

There was enough hype surrounding Schroeder that the Lakers reportedly offered him a four-year, $80 million extension, which he turned down to enter free agency the following season. Unfortunately for Schroeder, he ended up becoming one of the faces of the Lakers’ struggles that season, to the point where franchise legend Magic Johnson was publicly calling out his competitiveness.

Schröder eventually hit heavily discounted free agency and signed a one-year, $5.9 million contract with the Celtics, far less than what the Lakers were offering. Meanwhile, the Lakers decided to replace him with Russell Westbrook, whose struggles in Los Angeles are well-known at this point (almost like there’s a pattern here).

Schroeder’s numbers didn’t change significantly with the Celtics and Rockets, who traded for him midseason, though he did quite well for himself at FIBA ​​EuroBasket this month. Playing for Germany, the 29-year-old averaged 21.6 points and 7.3 assists per game, peaking with 30 points in a loss to Spain on Friday.

The Lakers bringing back Schroeder probably says more about the team than the player.

What does Dennis Schroder’s signing mean for Russell Westbrook?

As bad as Schroeder’s time with the Lakers was, it has nothing on the abject disaster that was Westbrook’s first season with the Lakers.

Plus, Westbrook is still under a $47 million contract with the Lakers next season, which is essentially the only reason the team hasn’t traded him right now. Finding a player for Westbrook’s contract has undoubtedly been difficult, but the Lakers’ addition of Schröder and other recent moves may indicate the team is finally making some progress.

The Lakers traded for Patrick Beverley, another veteran guard, last month, and the team’s backcourt is starting to look pretty full. In addition to Westbrook, Schröder and Beverley, the team also has Lonnie Walker IV, Kendrick Nunn and Austin Reaves, not to mention the fact that LeBron James might be their best option at point guard anyway.

With all those players poised to take Westbrook’s minutes plus a reported assurance for James that the team is willing to trade 2027 and 2029 first-round picks, the writing could be on the wall for the former MVP.

Los Angeles Lakers guard Dennis Schroder looks to pass the ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Cleveland Cavaliers Friday, March 26, 2021, in Los Angeles.  (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Dennis Schroder is back with the Lakers. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

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