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Los Angeles Lakers sign Dennis Schroder; What it means for Russell Westbrook

Dennis Schroder

In 2020, Dennis Schroder was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers for Danny Green and a draft pick that later became Jaden McDaniels. One year later, Schroder left the team in free agency, choosing to sign with the Boston Celtics. Now, according to Shams Charania, Schroder is returning to L.A., signing a one-year, $2.64 million contract.

Schroder, 29, will have plenty of competition at the point guard position if he wants to regain the starting role he had in his previous playoff stint with the Lakers. The team also traded for Patrick Beverley in late August, and their wish to ditch Russell Westbrook and his contract hasn’t been fulfilled.

  • Dennis Schroder stats (career): 14.2 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 4.7 APG, 0.8 SPG, 33.8% 3PT, 48.3% eFG in 26.5 MPG

Either way, Schroder adds more depth to a team in desperate need of filling out the roster with quality NBA talent around LeBron James and Anthony Davis. By adding Schroder for under $3 million, they’re getting a steal just months before the season begins.

Related: NBA Power Rankings: Warriors at the top as Timberwolves make run

Dennis Schroder signing doesn’t impact Russell Westbrook

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Boston Celtics
Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

While the Lakers haven’t been able to find a trade partner to take on the final year of Russell Westbrook’s contract, paying $47 million, they’re seemingly committed to trying to make things work with the nine-time NBA All-Star. But it might not necessarily be in a starting role.

While we’re far away from knowing the Lakers 2022-23 starting lineup just yet, we could see Westbrook come off the bench for the first time in his NBA career (aside from his first 17 games as a rookie). According to Jovan Buha and Sam Amick of The Athletic, sources close to the situation suggest the idea of Westbrook operating in a bench role is under strong consideration.

Westbrook may not like the idea, but if he really wants to stay in his home of Los Angeles, then he’ll have to accept what first-year head coach Darvin Ham believes is best for the team. Maybe that means Westbrook becomes their new sixth-man, where he’d likely have more freedom to operate than he currently does in the starting lineup next to LBJ and AD.

No matter what, the signing of Schroder allows gives the Lakers more flexibility. Whether that means plopping Westbrook on the bench, becoming more eager to trade him, or giving him a shorter leash in the starting lineup remains to be seen. Either way, Beverley, Schroder, and Westbrook are all set to wear the Purple and Gold, at least to begin the 2022-23 NBA season.

Related: NBA exec suggests Los Angeles Lakers and Detroit Pistons could be a match in Russell Westbrook trade

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