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X reasons a Lakers reunion does/doesn’t make sense in 2022 NBA free agency

Dennis Schröder wants to return to Los Angeles, but would it make sense for the Lakers to run it back with the German playmaker?

During his lone season with the Los Angeles Lakers, Dennis Schroder allegedly wanted a greater role. He did not get that, but after a season away from LA, it seems to have made his heart grow fonder.

Dennis Schröder was undoubtedly the player who caused the most polarization in that stint with Los Angeles.

Most people would undoubtedly agree that Dennis Schröder fared rather well if all they looked at was the regular season. He was by no means perfect, but he was a fine player No. 3 guy behind LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

All that went out the window, however, after the 2021 Playoffs. His production plummeted him, and when the Lakers needed him the most in Games 4 and 5 of the first round, Schröder disappeared, scoring only 8 points on 13.6 percent field goal shooting.

Again, he was solid in the regular season. He contributed 5.8 assists, 3.5 rebounds, and 15.4 points to a game on 43.7 percent field goal shooting. Schröder really was a proper No. 3, but it was also an emotional rollercoaster to see him play. Due to his delayed shooting release and the annoying tendency of holding the ball for too long, there were times when it appeared as though he would pump fake at least five wide-open three-pointers every game.

Despite all the negatives, there were also times when Schröder appeared to be too quick for the opposition’s defenses. Sometimes, he made it appear as though the opposing point guard could n’t stop any of his drives from him. His aggressive defense from him also spread to the rest of the squad on that side of the court.

In that season, whenever LeBron James and/or Anthony Davis got injured, Schröder in particular stepped up. He would increase his scoring average to 17.3 points per game on 44.5 percent shooting while also dishing out 7.1 assists per contest.

Schröder was undoubtedly able to carry the load when the Lakers needed him to bear a little more weight. On the flip side, it was also crystal clear that he was in no way capable of being the No. 1 or 2 star on a title-contending team.

Have things changed now that he wants to run it back in SoCal?

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2 reasons a Lakers meeting with Dennis Schröder makes sense

2. More efficient shooter.

Fans may look at the numbers to compare Schröder with incumbent starter Russell Westbrook. For sure, Westbrook has higher scoring, rebounding, assists, and steals averages. What Schröder has in his favor, though, are the percentages.

If we look at their shooting splits, Schröder actually has the edge. Last season, Schröder had 43-34-85 shooting splits last season and a 49.0 effective field goal percentage. In contrast, Westbrook’s shooting splits were 44-30-67 with a 47.6 effective field goal percentage.

Much has been written and said about Westbrook’s efficiency, and the numbers support those impressions. If the Los Angeles Lakers want someone who can be more efficient at the PG spot while also possessing the capability to lead the team, Dennis Schröder could be that guy.

1. Better fit

Another big issue with Westbrook this past season has been fit. For too many times, it seemed like the Los Angeles Lakers were cradling a my-turn-your-turn setup among their big three.

It clearly didn’t work. They didn’t even make it to the play-in tournament!

Remember that Schröder is still in his prime, and given his play style, he would be a better fit rather than Westbrook. The Lakers would get more bang for their buck, too.

Right now, the Lakers can offer Schröder the veteran’s minimum, which would be just fine, especially after the German rejected the Lakers’ contract extension offer of four years, $84 million to pursue a larger deal in the 2021 offseason. He definitely dropped the ball there, and he would do well to take what he can get wherever he can get it.

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