The Toronto Raptors were spit-roasted over the proverbial fire when they reacted to the departure of Fred VanVleet by giving Dennis Schroder a two-year contract and naming him the starting point guard. Surely there was no way Darko Rajakovic could get VanVleet-like offensive output out of Schroder, right?
Not only has Schroder been thriving in Toronto, but he’s been doing so while flexing an improved jumper that erased questions about inefficient shooting. In an offense that has been mocked as one of the worst in the league, Schroder has been a glimmer of hope.
Schroder has averaged 16.9 points and 8.9 assists per game this season, taking a starting role from Gary Trent Jr. and proving Toronto made the right choice. Schroder’s shooting improvement is not only impressive, but it’s also made him one of the best in the league at a certain skill.
By using effective field goal percentage (which places a greater emphasis on 3-point shots than the standard field goal percentage), Schroder ranks as the second-best catch-and-shoot player in the league. The German point guard is ahead of names like Steph Curry and Tyler Herro, trailing only Thunder rookie Chet Holmgren.
Toronto Raptors PG Dennis Schroder has improved as a shooter.
Schroder is continuing the scintillating play he showed off during the 2023 FIBA World Cup, where he took home the gold medal with an unbeaten Germany side and won MVP honors. Rajakovic hasn’t made Schroder a passer above all else, imploring him to take control of the offense.
The half-court offense has been rancid for most of the year, as Schroder’s incisive play combined with Scottie Barnes playing out of his mind are standing out as the two factors preventing complete calamity from overruling this attack. Given the contract they signed him on, Schroder has provided amazing value.
As a passer, Schroder’s assists per game mark has been surpassed by a quartet of expected All-Stars in Tyrese Haliburton, Trae Young, Luka Doncic, and LaMelo Ball. He and Jakob Poeltl already have developed tremendous chemistry as a pick-and-roll tandem.
The Raptors’ offense would be in the dumps (even more than they are now) without the presence of Schroder. If he can sustain this level of shooting, or something close to it, Toronto might be able to eventually break through and find a structure that works more consistently.