Dennis Schroder’s return to the Los Angeles Lakers last season surprised many.
His first run with the team didn’t go according to plan, what with the squad exiting early in the playoffs and some clashes with L.A.’s stars.
Schroder’s second stint with the organization went much smoother. He played an integral role off the bench in the playoffs for the Lakers in 2023 and was a big reason the team advanced to the Western Conference Finals.
Unfortunately, in the offseason, Schroder made the decision to leave the Lakers for the Toronto Raptors. He wound up signing a two-year, $26 million contract with the latter squad.
This week, during an appearance on NBA Today, Schroder opened up about why he made the decision to leave Los Angeles in favor of Toronto.
“I think Darko [Rajakovic], the head coach… I met him 5 years ago in OKC. We became friends… I definitely said to my agent, ‘I want be there.’ … I think it’s a great fit.”
Dennis Schroder on why he left the Lakers for the Raptors this summer.pic.twitter.com/fQMqTW7akX
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPoints) September 13, 2023
“I think Darko [Rajakovic], the head coach,” Schroder said.
“I met him five years ago in OKC. We became friends… I definitely said to my agent, ‘I want to be there.’ … I think it’s a great fit.”
Toronto hired Rajakovic to replace Nick Nurse after finishing ninth in the Eastern Conference this past season and losing in the first round of the play-in tournament to the Chicago Bulls.
It was a big move given that Nurse had guided the Raptors to their first ever NBA championship just a few years prior – but it didn’t take long for the real reason behind Nurse’s departure to emerge.
What a day already for the Minnesota Vikings. https://t.co/kTgYC5I6Ub
— Game 7 (@game7__) September 14, 2023
Now Rajakovic will aim to right the ship with key veterans like Schroder on board.
Will Schroder be able to do for the Raptors what he did for the Lakers and guide them deep into the playoffs? Time will tell.