After spending last season as the 6th man for the Oklahoma City Thunder, Schröder is making it clear he wants to start.
“I did this off-the-bench stuff already in two years with OKC,” Schröder said on a videoconference call with reporters on Monday.
Schröder followed by saying he thinks “…with [Anthony Davis] and LeBron, I can be helpful as a starter in the PG position.”
While Schröder said he has not discussed starting with coach Frank Vogel, he believes his agents have.
“I think my agent talked to the organization before they was trading me,” he said “So, that’s that.”
His comments should not surprise LA if this is the case.
However, sources told ESPN’s Dave McMenamin the Lakers have not set a starting lineup.
New story: Dennis Schröder made it known he wants to be the starting point guard for L.A., but sources tell ESPN the Lakers haven’t settled on a starting lineup yet https://t.co/T5jjt0akYH
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) November 30, 2020
Schröder will be considered for the starting gig but may be asked to assume the role he played in OKC.
Would Lakers Move James from the PG?
If Schröder gets his wish and starts, that would mean LeBron will be moved to the small forward position.
James led the league in assists last year by averaging 10.2 APG while leading the Lakers to the title.
Even though James has always played with the ball in his hands, the new role clearly changed his stat line.
He saw a dip in points-per-game, rebounds-per-game, shots-per-game, and free throws-per-game.
Schröder believes he can help alleviate some of the burden LeBron shoulders’.
“LeBron don’t have [to have] so much stuff in his mind. I can bring it up, call a set play or whatever and put him in a position to score. I think him to play off-the-ball, I mean, is I think great. [T]hat’s the reason why they brought me in.”
Dennis proved he can initiate and lead an offense last season while playing as Chris Paul‘s backup.
Allowing LeBron to work off the ball could take the Lakers’ offense to the next level.
James arguably has the highest basketball IQ of anybody in the league.
Letting him initiate action off the ball while also freeing himself for open looks would be a drastic change from his role last season.
Dennis Schroder said he focuses on bringing energy and making it "as simple as possible" for teammates.
— Lakers Nation (@LakersNation) November 30, 2020
Schröder starting at point guard would most likely give the Lakers a starting 5 as follows:
- PG – Dennis Schröder
- SG – Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
- SF – LeBron James
- PF – Anthony Davis
- C – Marc Gasol
While Schröder leading the bench would give them more punch, James may appreciate sharing the load as he enters his age-36 season.
The Lakers also like Caruso off the bench for his defense and high energy.
Schröder Open to Long-Term Deal with “Biggest Organization”
Schröder is in the final year of his contract and was asked if he sees himself in the Lakers’ long-term plans.
“End of the day, I just try to focus on this year. “But if it’s a fair deal and everything goes right, then, of course, I think long term. But I just try to lock in now for this season, take it day by day and let’s see if we come to an agreement on that.”
If the Lakers see him in their long-term plans, Schröder does have some leverage in this situation.
They would need to cater to him somewhat to help during negotiations.
Even as impressive as Schröder was off the bench in OKC, he is talented enough to crack the starting lineup.
Lakers’ coach Frank Vogel proved last season he has the coaching ability to optimize lineups.
Vogel was a great coach for the Pacers and continued that success with the franchise Schröder labeled the “biggest organization”.
“It’s an honor to be here in this organization. I think they brought me in for a reason. You know, we’ll try to get the repeat. I think for this organization, winning 17 championships, this history is big-time. And to be in the biggest platform in the NBA, biggest team, biggest organization, I think I’m excited. I’m honored that I’m here. And I can’t wait to get started.”
The 8-year veteran is clearly excited to finally compete for an NBA title with the Lakers.