Were Raptors interested in Dennis Schroder before Lakers deal?

The Toronto Raptors were linked to Dennis Schroder heavily during the 2021 offseason, as many assumed he could be a veteran presence that steps in after the departure of Kyle Lowry. Ultimately, Toronto passed on him. That doesn’t mean they have completely lost interest in him.

Schroder, who started last season with the Boston Celtics after famously turning down a gigantic extension from the Los Angeles Lakers, was traded to the Houston Rockets in the middle of the season. His scoring was still solid from a box score perspective, but his status within the league took a huge hit.

In need of both extra guard depth and willing to take on a reclamation project with some name-brand value, the Lakers decided to bring back Schroder on a one-year deal. They weren’t the only team that had an interest in signing the German point guard after a strong Eurobasket showing.

Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that Schroder was deciding between joining the Lakers, Suns, and the Raptors before ultimately returning to LA. Apparently, Masai Ujiri is not done trying to make additions to the roster if his name has been connected to Schroder.

Could the Toronto Raptors have used Dennis Schroder?

Schroder averaged 13.5 points per game, his worst mark in the last six seasons, and 4.6 assists per game with Boston and Houston last season. While his status as an elite Sixth Man has ebbed away, he showed that he can still fill it up at a near exemplary level in the NBA.

The question of who will back up such a precious asset in Fred VanVleet at point guard will likely dominate Raptors preseason talk. Dalano Banton, Malachi Flynn, and point-forwards like Scottie Barnes will all get a chance to state their case, but it doesn’t look like Ujiri is done with the thought of adding a veteran to take that spot.

Schroder’s defense is not what it once was, but there’s a chance he could end up being Toronto’s most productive bench player if he made the trip to Canada. Toronto would need to move one of their guaranteed contracts to make this happen, but that shouldn’t be impossible for an executive like Ujiri.

If Schroder has gotten vaccinated, which was a problem for him in the past, he could have been a worthwhile addition to the Toronto roster. LA, unfortunately, beat Ujiri to the punch and signed him away, leaving the Raptors as unsure about their backcourt rotation as they were a few weeks ago.