Dennis Schroder looks back on Lakers tenure with Austin Reaves ahead of upcoming matchup vs. Team USA

Mike Battaglino
3 Min Read

Dennis Schroder knew when he left the Los Angeles Lakers this offseason that he likely would be facing former teammate Austin Reaves in the NBA at some point, but the two are first about to see each other again at the 2023 FIBA World Cup, where Schroder will play for Germany against Reaves and Team USA in the semifinals on Friday.

The 29-year-old, who signed with the Toronto Raptors as a free agent in July, said he had “nothing but love” for his 25-year-old opponent.

Schroder got a two-year contract worth $26 million from the Raptors after completing his second stint with the Lakers last season. Reaves re-signed with Los Angeles, getting a four-year, $56 million deal as a restricted free agent.

They both were very important players down the stretch and in the playoffs for the Lakers last season, when they helped them reach the 2023 Western Conference Finals, where they were swept by the eventual NBA champion Denver Nuggets.

Schroder is a starter for Germany, which defeated Latvia 81-79 in the quarterfinals to advance to the semifinal meeting against the U.S. team. He is averaging 18.0 points per game, with a high game of 30 points, in six tournament games, adding 6.3 assists per contest.

Reaves has been coming off the bench for Team USA, which defeated Italy 100-63 in the quarterfinals. He is averaging 11.0 points, 3.0 assists and 2.5 rebounds per game in six tournament contests and has made 26 of 28 free-throw attempts.

Schroder and Reaves got their first reunion out of the way in an exhibition game leading up to the tournament, sharing an embrace after the Americans’ 99-91 win.

The Lakers moved on from Schroder this offseason while adding Gabe Vincent, Cam Reddish, Taurean Prince and Jaxson Hayes in free agency. Los Angeles also re-signed Reaves, D’Angelo Russell and Rui Hachimura before also adding Christian Wood this week.

Schroder has expressed his gratitude for his time with the Lakers but also said he was seeking the opportunity to lead a team himself. He may have that opportunity with the Raptors, where he could be in line to be their starting point guard.

But first he will try to get Germany past Reaves and Team USA and put it into the World Cup championship game against either Serbia or Canada on Sunday.

Share This Article
Mike is a veteran journalist who has covered the NBA for almost three decades. He remembers the birth of "Showtime" and has always admired the star power the Lakers have brought to the game.