The Toronto Raptors lost their starting point guard Fred VanVleet in free agency to the Houston Rockets.
The team quickly responded by signing Dennis Schroder to a two-year, $26 million deal.
The Raptors are hoping that Schroder can help fill the void left by VanVleet. Schroder is coming off playing some of the best basketball of his career at the FIBA World Cup.
Schroder was named the MVP of the tournament, as he averaged 19.1 points and 6.1 assists per game. He led Team Germany to a gold medal.
Schroder now has his sights set on the upcoming season as he will be reunited with Darko Rajakovic. He played for Rajakovic, who was his assistant coach in Oklahoma City from 2018-2020.
Schroder mentioned how his relationship with Rajakovic was a big factor in his decision to sign with the Raptors.
“It was an easy decision for me to come here because I know what he’s about. “What I love about coach is that he keeps everybody in the locker room accountable. We had Russell Westbrook [in OKC], we had [Paul George] and he kept everybody accountable, and it’s not to take them down, it’s to lift them up,” Schroder said.
One of the biggest questions regarding Schroder right now is his role with the Raptors. Will Toronto use him as their new starting point guard or will he come off the bench as the teams’ sixth man? Schroder made it clear that it doesn’t matter how the Raptors use him, he just wants to win:
“For me, as long as we win… it don’t really matter. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to be here, all this coming off the bench, starting, and all that, I ain’t got no time or energy to spend on it.”
It seems like Schroder has his priorities straight.
Schroder’s upcoming season with the Raptors
Darko Rajakovic has big plans for Schroder this season. “We’re going to have very creative ways of using him,” he said.
Whether he starts or comes off the bench, Schroder will make an instant impact for the Raptors. His veteran presence and leadership alone will be a breath of fresh air for the young player on this team.
Schroder now looks to turn his successful summer into a big year.
“It was a great summer. But it’s a new season and I just try to take that confidence and that play, what I did in Japan and the Philippines, and translate it into the NBA season,” he said.
Schroder could be in line for a breakout season with the Raptors.
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