Dennis Schroder shows Lakers tons of love as he leaves L.A. for Raptors

Mike Battaglino
3 Min Read

Dennis Schroder may be leaving the Los Angeles Lakers, but he expressed his gratitude for the short time he spent playing for them.

Dennis Schroder

Schroder is going to the Toronto Raptors on a two-year, $26 million contract that is likely far more than the Lakers would have been able or willing to pay him. Leading into free agency, he said he was proud of the role he played in Los Angeles and looking to be properly compensated for it.

“I know I could have gotten way more money than I have the last two years,” Schroder told ESPN. “I’m capable of running a team and helping the organization win games. And I think I have, of course, more worth than a minimum contract or $5.9 million and even bigger numbers than that.”

The 29-year-old was a valuable contributor on the court, averaging 12.6 points and 4.5 assists per game last season, his second stint with L.A. after also playing for them during the 2020-21 campaign. He left then to sign with the Boston Celtics and is leaving once again via a new contract. Schroder made $2.6 million in the 2022-23 season and was an unrestricted free agent.

He also proved his worth in other ways, in particular by standing up to Draymond Green during the second-round playoff series against the Golden State Warriors when LeBron James and Anthony Davis wouldn’t or couldn’t because of their friendships with the noted antagonist.

The Lakers have been one of the most active teams since free agency began on Friday, agreeing to a deal to re-sign Rui Hachimura and adding Gabe Vincent, Taurean Prince and Cam Reddish.

Vincent’s arrival may have led to the Lakers allowing Schroder to depart, which is ironic because Vincent’s former Miami Heat teammate, Kyle Lowry, gave advice to both him and Fred VanVleet, whose departure from the Raptors to the Houston Rockets may have created an opening for Schroder in Toronto.

The Lakers have another piece of very important unfinished business as they await a decision from Austin Reaves. They have offered him a four-year contract worth $52 million, the maximum they are allowed, and now are waiting to see if he receives any offer sheets they reportedly are prepared to match.

As for Schroder, who entered the NBA in 2013 after the Atlanta Hawks drafted him out of Germany, his well-traveled basketball career now will continue in Canada.

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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.