Just months after the Lakers unceremoniously replaced Dennis Schroder with a blockbuster trade for Russell Westbrook, the veteran point guard is back in his former home with a pair of games at the Staples Center this week.
The Celtics and Lakers find themselves in similar spots in the standings at the start of a critical month for both franchises with trade season looming but their paths leading to getting there feel different already. The Lakers have lost seven of 12 games despite facing one of the easiest schedules in the league so far with Schroder’s $44 million replacement in Russell Westbrook struggling to build on-court chemistry with LeBron James and Anthony Davis in the early going.
Meanwhile, the Celtics have won 11 of 17 since a dreadful 2-5 start and are coming off their best two offensive outings of the season. Schroder has been front and center in that turnaround, serving as a reliable secondary scoring option and facilitator while averaging 17.9 points and 4.9 assists. That production has him into one of the biggest bargain signings of the NBA offseason after the Celtics inked him to a $5.9 million deal for the mid-level exception back in August, less than 20 percent of what the Lakers are paying Westbrook for the current season.
Schroder opened up recently about his experience with the Lakers and the team’s decision to part ways with him in free agency.