It didn’t take long for Masai Ujiri and the Toronto Raptors to sign a replacement for Fred VanVleet after he signed a three-year, $130 million deal with the Rockets. Rather than let options left on the free agent market dwindle down, the Raptors signed Dennis Schroder.
The 29-year-old is fresh off his second stint with the Lakers, who opted to sign Gabe Vincent to a three-year, $33 million deal rather than bring Schroder back. He was a solid piece of Los Angeles’ 2022-23 season that resulted in a trip to the Western Conference Finals.
Schroder’s efforts were enough to get a solid two-year, $26 million contract from Toronto, a good pivot on the Raptors’ part after VanVleet secured a max contract.
Toronto Raptors sign Dennis Schroder to free agent contract.
Schroder averaged 12.6 points and 4.5 assists in 66 games (the most he’s played since 2018-19) while shooting 41.5% from the field and 32.9% from three. In the 50 games that he started in 2022-23, Schroder averaged 13.5 points and 5.0 assists.
Unlike VanVleet, Schroder is a menace on the defensive end. His on-ball defense is a key part of his game and it was crucial for Los Angeles, especially in the playoffs. VanVleet’s three-point percentages took a dip in recent seasons, and Raptors fans shouldn’t expect much from Schroder on that front. He’s a 33.7% three-point shooter and won’t put up as many shot attempts as VanVleet, but Schroder can initiate the offense.
On Friday morning, NBA insider Marc Stein reported (subscription required) that the Lakers were “eager” to re-sign Schroder. Los Angeles’ plan was to sign him to the minimum and “give him a raise” over the one-year, $2.6 million deal that he signed in free agency last year. It didn’t take long for the Lakers to change their outlook.
Schroder won’t be the scorer that VanVleet was in Toronto, but the organization did themselves a favor by wasting no time in signing the 10-year veteran. His full impact on the game doesn’t always show up in the box score, but Raptors fans will appreciate the effort that Schroder puts forth on a nightly basis.