Darvin Ham: Dennis Schroder’s EuroBasket Performance Was ‘Huge Factor’ In Lakers Signing Him
Dennis Schroder, Lakers
(Photo by OLIVER BEHRENDT/AFP via Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Lakers decided to bring back point guard Dennis Schroder on a one-year deal, making him the 14th guaranteed contract on the roster. In addition to being familiar with the franchise from his time here in 2020-21, Schroder and new Lakers coach Darvin Ham actually have a history together as well.

Ham was part of Mike Budenholzer’s staff in Atlanta when the Hawks drafted Schroder and the two spent five seasons together there. But it was Schroder’s performance for Germany during last months’ EuroBasket tournament that really solidified the Lakers bringing him in.

“Huge factor […] his performance this summer was nothing short of incredible,” Ham said. “And it just shows his maturity the way he led his team. Not just points and stats, but his energy, his competitiveness. The way he kept the group together through the tournament. Speaks volumes of how he’s grown.”

Schroder averaged 22.1 points and 7.1 assists in leading his native Germany to a surprising third-place finish in the tournament. Now back with the Lakers, Schroder is behind as a visa issue kept him from joining the team at the start of training camp. But Ham believes Schroder will be able to catch up relatively quickly.

“I mean, definitely picking up on those scrimmages and segments,” Ham added. “But also, you know, being aware that he’s hadn’t been around, so he’s trying to take things into account of how we were doing it.

“A lot of this stuff we did when he was with us in Atlanta defensively. You know, offensively, it’s a little bit different, but not too complicated, where he can’t pick it up on the fly. We’ll have our coaches script him, He and some other guys […] I expect him to rise to the occasion, soak in all information and be able to apply it pretty quickly.”

Schroder definitely brings an interesting skillset to the Lakers with his speed and ability to attack the basket as well as his defense where he is excellent at pressuring the ball and being an overall irritant.

But with just two preseason games left before the start of the regular season, Ham doesn’t plan on rushing things with Schroder. “Well, we’ll ease him in,” the Lakers head coach made clear. “We’ll give him a few minutes Wednesday, and then probably a few more minutes on top of those few minutes on Friday, and just ease him in slow and let his pace and what he’s able to do provide us with information on how much we can play him.”

Schroder says he has ‘unfinished business’ with Lakers

While Schroder had some good moments during his lone season with the Lakers, things did not end on a great note with the purple and gold. Now returning to the team, Schroder made it clear that he has unfinished business.

“Yeah, for sure. I said it in my exit meeting I think that we have unfinished business playing with LeBron and AD,” Schroder said after practice on Monday.

“And now Russ, Pat Bev is here and all those young guys. I’m ready to work and I’m excited.”

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