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Dennis Schroder wants to be starter for Lakers, not just come off bench

Kurt Helin and Corey Robinson break down the Lakers most recent moves in free agency and analyze how dangerous the team looks for 2021.

Dennis Schroder was second in Sixth Man of the Year voting last season. If Lakers coach Frank Vogel follows the pattern he used last season, the Lakers starting five is likely LeBron James, Wesley Matthews, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Anthony Davis, and Marc Gasol.

All of this adds up to Schroder being a weapon off the Lakers’ bench, except he wants to start. Here is what the German point guard told reporters on Monday, via Bill Oram of The Athletic.

“I did this off-the-bench stuff already in two years with OKC,” Schröder said in a video conference with reporters on Monday. “I think I (will) try to move forward, and I think with AD and LeBron I can be helpful as a starter in the PG position...

“I can bring it up, call a set play or whatever and put him in a position to score. I think him to … off-the-ball is, I think, great,” Schröder said. “I think that’s the reason why they brought me in.”

LeBron James was the Lakers’ starting point guard last season, and he led the league in assists at 10.2 a game. Coming off a championship with that system, it’s hard to imagine Vogel going away from it. Schroder has been seen as an upgrade as the backup point guard for the Lakers over Rajon Rondo — and he is — but Rondo started all of three games last season. He came in off the bench and ran the offense with the second unit once LeBron sat.

That ultimately could be Schroder’s role, running a lot of pick-and-roll with Montrezl Harrell and owning the second unit. But if he can play well off-ball, it gives Vogel rotation options. Maybe even starting Schroder.

Will Vogel use the script that won a title last season, or will he shake things up with his rotations? Even for the champions, there are questions to be answered still for this season.