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Dennis Schroder Explains Choosing Raptors Over Lakers Reunion

After guiding Germany to a historic victory in the FIBA World Cup and winning the MVP award in the process, Dennis Schroder has provided insights into his decision to join the Toronto Raptors over potential reunion with the Los Angeles Lakers.

While still basking in the glory of Germany’s first-ever FIBA World Cup championship, Schroder, elaborated on the reasons behind his free agency choice.

Schroder cited his strong relationship with Head Coach Darko Rajakovic as the primary reason for choosing to join the Raptors. They first connected five years ago in OKC, and their friendship played a crucial role in his decision, making it a great fit for him as reported by Malika Andrews of ClutchPoints.

“I think Darko [Rajakovic], the head coach,” Schroder told Malika Andrews on NBA Today, via ClutchPoints (originally James Burnes). “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.”

 

During his initial season with the Oklahoma City Thunder, when Darko Rajakovic served as an assistant coach, Dennis Schroder, the 29-year-old point guard, experienced his first year with the team.

Despite the team not meeting expectations, as the squad led by Paul George and Russell Westbrook was eliminated in the first round, a strong and evident connection was established between Schroder and the incoming Raptors head coach.

After spending the past ten years as part of coaching staffs for some of the Western Conference’s top and most thrilling teams, Darko Rajakovic is finally getting the opportunity to assume a leadership role in the NBA.

Although the challenge ahead is formidable, given the departures of Fred VanVleet and the uncertainty surrounding Pascal Siakam’s future, having a familiar face potentially directing the team’s offense could help ease the transition.

Before Rajakovic’s arrival in Toronto, there was a possibility of Dennis Schroder reuniting with the Los Angeles Lakers.

However, the Lakers’ signing of guard Gabe Vincent complicated that scenario significantly.

Instead, the experienced 10-year veteran opted for a two-year, $26 million contract to play in Toronto.

While this contract represents a substantial payday, it appears that Schroder’s profound respect for Rajakovic played a decisive role in sealing the deal.

Raptors fans can only hope that this strong bond between player and coach translates into significant on-court success in the upcoming season.

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