Dennis Schroder wants to be the Lakers’ starting point guard

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dennis Schroder handles the ball in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the New York Knicks, Friday, March 6, 2020, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Dennis Schroder was runner-up in voting for the NBA’s sixth man of the year last season while with the Thunder. (Mary Altaffer / Associated Press)

The Lakers’ splashiest backcourt acquisition isn’t the shiest.

Dennis Schroder, who many NBA observers pegged as the league’s top sixth man last season, wants to be a starter alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis this season.

“I did this off the bench stuff already in two years with [Oklahoma City],” Schroder said. “I think I try to move forward and I think with AD and LeBron I can be helpful as a starter in the point guard position.”

Schroder started only 16 games in two seasons with the Thunder after graduating into a role as the Hawks’ starting point guard in his final two seasons in Atlanta.

The Lakers functioned nearly all of last season without a traditional starting point guard with James taking on that responsibility while leading the Lakers to an NBA title. He also, for the first time in his career, led the NBA with 10.2 assists per game.

By acquiring Schroder, 27, in a trade that cost them guard Danny Green and the draft rights to Jaden McDaniels, the Lakers’ first-round pick, the team brought in a capable playmaker and scorer who could ease some of the point guard burden placed on James, allowing him to spend more time playing off the ball — and in essence, allowing him to conserve more energy.

“I think that’s the reason why they brought me in,” Schroder said.

If Schroder does start, it puts him alongside James and Davis as the no-brainers for coach Frank Vogel’s starting five. One likely potential starting five would add newly signed Marc Gasol as the starting center — keeping Davis at his preferred power forward spot — and having either Kentavious Caldwell-Pope or Wesley Matthews as the other starting wing.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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