The Los Angeles Lakers have made quite a splash during this shortened NBA offseason, most notably acquiring both reigning NBA Sixth Man of the Year Montrezl Harrell and his runner-up Dennis Schroder.
However, the latter player apparently is apparently no longer interested in being a sixth (seventh?) man anymore.
The former Oklahoma City Thunder guard told reporters on Monday that he wants to start alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
Dennis Schroder makes his case to start: “I did this off the bench stuff already the last two years in OKC … I think with LeBron and AD I can be helpful as a starter in the PG position.”
— Bill Oram (@billoram) November 30, 2020
This is apparently not a surprise for the Lakers, though Schroder indicated that the conversation was through his agent and not himself.
The last time Schroder regularly started was the 2017-18 season with the Atlanta Hawks.
If Schroder and the Lakers are all on the same page, that’s fine, though it does raise some question about how the Lakers’ rotation and starting lineup is going to work next season.
With only three exceptions, when the team went small, the Lakers started the following lineup for every game of the playoffs: James, Davis, Danny Green, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and either Dwight Howard or JaVale McGee.
James, Davis and Caldwell-Pope are the only names remaining from that group. Harrell and Marc Gasol are natural replacements for the center duo, but Schroder is a significantly different player from Green. While Green is ostensibly a natural 3-and-D player with more than 80 percent of his 3-point shots coming from catch-and-shoot attempts. Schroder is definitely not that, working more with the ball in his hands.
If anything, Schroder is supposed to be the team’s replacement for Rajon Rondo or Avery Bradley, neither of whom started a playoff game last season (Rondo came off the bench while Bradley opted out). None of this is to Schroder starting is a mistake or anything, only that it’s somewhat surprising to see a team apparently moving away from the starting lineup that just won it a championship.
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