The compatibility of Dennis Schroder and LeBron James became one of the main talking points ahead of the 2020-21 campaign after the German playmaker landed in L.A during the offseason.
James evolved into an assist king last year, which worked out perfectly next to Anthony Davis playing his debut season in the Purple and Gold. Hence, many wondered what role Schroder would play for the Lakers following his arrival — and the question intensified after the former Oklahoma City Thunder and Atlanta Hawks man announced he wanted to start at the point guard position.
Schroder later clarified he didn’t intend to take the ball away from James’ hands. The two ended up sharing the ball-handling responsibilities, allowing the four-time NBA champion to decrease his minute average.
And Schroder has reiterated his desire to complement James — who is out with an ankle sprain sidelining him for about a month — on the floor, particularly as he considers him the best point guard in NBA history. “We’ve got the best point guard, first off, who ever played basketball,” he said.
“I’ve played with Russell [Westbrook], Chris Paul, Shai [Gilgeous-Alexander], with a couple of point guards who were pretty damn good. But LeBron is the best to ever play this game, I believe. So I don’t try to take anything from him, try to help him in any way I can, especially on the defensive end.”
Schroder added he lives in symbiosis with another Lakers guard, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, with whom he can harass opponents with an aggressive full-court defense. Energy and pace are the other assets the German claims he has to offer, which he hopes will continue serving James following his return from the ankle injury.
“I think me and [Kentavious] Caldwell-Pope, when we pressure full court and the opponent starts their offense with 15, 16 seconds left on the clock, it’s the little things that I try to bring to the table. Of course, sometimes create for myself, create for AD and even for LeBron, that’s my job on this team.”
Schroder shruggs off trade rumors, reiterates intent to test his value in free agency
Schroder has yet to sign a contract extension with the Lakers, which could play a role in L.A.’s decision to involve him in trade talks earlier this week. The reigning NBA champions pursued Toronto Raptors star Kyle Lowry, but their offer was deemed insufficient despite negotiations dragging on until the trade deadline passed on Thursday.
Schroder has shrugged off the fact L.A. seemed willing to trade him away after spending less than a season with the team. But the guard also reiterated he was open to testing his value in free agency. “It’s a crazy business, first of all,” he said of the trade rumors.
“At the end of the day, I want to play my season out,” Schroder said. “I said too that I want to see my options. I for sure want to be a Laker, but I still want to see my options.”
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