LOS ANGELES — LeBron James might be one and completed taking part in the 1 for the Los Angeles Lakers. The newly acquired Dennis Schroder mentioned he intends to start out at level guard for the defending champions.
“I did this off the bench stuff already in two years with OKC,” Schroder, who completed second behind teammate Montrezl Harrell for Sixth Man of the 12 months for his function with the Thunder, mentioned on an introductory videoconference name with reporters Monday. “I feel I attempt to transfer ahead, and I feel with [Anthony Davis] and LeBron, I could be useful as a starter within the PG place.”
Schroder mentioned that he has not spoken to Lakers coach Frank Vogel about his need to start out, nonetheless his representatives, Alex Saratsis and Jeff Austin of Octagon, mentioned that facet with the Lakers entrance workplace previous to L.A.’s buying and selling guard Danny Green and the No. 28 choose within the draft to the Thunder to finish the deal.
“I feel my agent talked to the group earlier than they was buying and selling me,” he mentioned “So, that is that.”
The Lakers haven’t settled upon their beginning lineup, sources instructed ESPN. Although Schroder will likely be thought of for the place to begin guard spot, he may be requested to fill in off the bench, sources mentioned.
James, who turns 36 subsequent month, led the league in assists for the primary time in his profession final season, averaging 10.2 per recreation, and led L.A. to the title whereas shifting from his conventional place of small ahead to level guard.
Though James has at all times performed with the ball in his fingers — taking part in the unofficial level ahead place — the change did have an effect on his scoring. His factors per recreation dipped from 27.4 in his first season in L.A. to 25.3, and his shot makes an attempt per recreation had been lower from 19.9 to 19.4.
Schroder, who averaged 18.9 factors and 4 assists per recreation as Chris Paul‘s backup for the Thunder final season, mentioned he can alleviate a few of James’ tasks because the four-time champion enters into his 18th season. “LeBron do not have (to have) a lot stuff in his thoughts,” Schroder mentioned. “I can carry it up, name a set play or no matter and put him able to attain. I feel him to play off-the-ball, I imply, is I feel nice. I feel that is the explanation why they introduced me in.”
If Schroder does begin, Vogel should get artistic with the backup level guard function, primarily based on the Lakers’ present roster building. Rajon Rondo, who was the first backup final season, signed with the Atlanta Hawks as a free agent. And the Lakers waived Quinn Cook, who additionally performed the place.
L.A. is coming into coaching camp with two different ball handlers in Alex Caruso and Talen Horton-Tucker on the reserve roster, however no gamers who’ve historically recognized as some extent guard. The Lakers additionally signed Zavier Simpson to an Exhibit 10 contract, which might provide him a $50,000 bonus to play for the Lakers’ G League staff, the South Bay Lakers, if he doesn’t make the roster. Simpson averaged 7.9 assists per recreation as a senior on the College of Michigan.
Schroder is within the last yr of his contract and can make $15.5 million this season. He was requested if he considered the Lakers as a long-term match.
“Finish of the day, I simply attempt to deal with this yr,” he mentioned. “But when it is a honest deal and all the things goes proper, then, in fact, I feel long run. However I simply attempt to lock in now for this season, take it daily and let’s examine if we come to an settlement on that.”
The eight-year veteran was in his native Germany when the commerce with the Lakers was consummated. He has since relocated to L.A. together with his spouse and two younger youngsters. He took a break from a exercise on the court docket on the Lakers’ apply facility in El Segundo, California, on Monday to conduct the videoconference on the telephone, whereas sporting a purple Lakers’ shirt and yellow headband.
“It is an honor to be right here on this group,” Schroder mentioned. “I feel they introduced me in for a purpose. You recognize, we’ll attempt to get the repeat. I feel for this group, profitable 17 championships, this historical past is big-time. And to be within the greatest platform within the NBA, greatest staff, greatest group, I feel I am excited. I am honored that I am right here. And I can not wait to get began.”