Lakers: Dennis Schröder leveraged EuroBasket explosion into an L.A. return

Germany's Dennis Schroder earned a new deal with the Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP via Getty Images)
Germany's Dennis Schroder earned a new deal with the Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP via Getty Images) /

Playing on the world stage can either elevate a player’s stature or sink them in regards to an NBA contract. For scoring guard Dennis Schröder, his dazzling showcase playing for Germany in the FIBA EuroBasket circuit was just what he needed to earn a new deal with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Shortly following a 30-point explosion in the EuroBasket semifinal, the Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that Schröder would sign a one-year, $2.64 million deal to return to the Lakers. The 28-year-old point guard played for the Lakers during the 2020-21 season, averaging15.4 points and 5.8 assists per game.

This past season, Schröder began the year with the eventual Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics before he was traded to a tanking Houston Rockets club. Although he’s always been a talented ball-handler and scorer by nature, it’s been difficult for Schröder to find a long-lasting fit since a five-year stretch with the Atlanta Hawks to begin his NBA career.

Schröder expertly leveraged his EuroBasket stardom to a Lakers return.

Whether it was by coincidence or design, this offseason worked out perfectly for Schröder. Interest in his services has clearly dwindled, as is usually the case for undersized, score-first point guards as they approach their 30s. However, EuroBasket was a wonderful showcase for the 2013 draft pick to rebuild his stature in the basketball community.

Through the last six games of his EuroBasket campaign, Schröder averaged 23.3 points per game while leading a team that won nine of its 11 games in assists. This setting proposed a chance to display his devastating one-on-one skills including a sneaky slashing talent and impressive 3-point range.

These are all skills that he once showcased for the Los Angeles Lakers, but if he wants to make the marriage work this time around, it’s going to take more selflessness. The iso-heavy style won’t be conducive to winning in gold and purple, so Schröder will need to remain focused on ball movement while capitalizing on shots generated by off-ball motion. Part of the beauty of being a teammate of LeBron James is that you’re sure to get easier shots than you’d otherwise expect.

Speaking of the King, this return was spoken into existence during an Instagram exchange between Schröder and LeBron under one of his posts in July:

All criticisms aside, the Lakers have done a good job of pinpointing talent in unlikely places this offseason. Along with his German teammate, Franz Wagner, Schröder has been one of the most talked-about players in the hoops world since EuroBasket started up. He’s proving that players can make a name for themselves and generate interest by sticking to their craft while finding unique platforms to showcase their talent.

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At this rate, Los Angeles could wing up starting Schröder at some point this season if they opt to make a splashy trade in hopes of winning the title.