Dennis Schroder Darko Rajakovic

Arnab Bose

NBA

REVEALED: Why Did Dennis Schroder LEAVE Los Angeles Lakers To Join Toronto Raptors?

Dennis Schroder is over the moon at present. He helped Team Germany win their first-ever FIBA World Cup. Moreover, he turned out to be the MVP of the World Cup tournament. But it certainly does not make the Los Angeles Lakers very happy. It is because Schroder is not part of their team anymore. Moreover, the guy who is part of the team, Austin Reaves, failed to help Steve Kerr’s side win a single medal in the World Cup. After all, Team USA was the hot favorite of the tournament. Moreover, Austin Reaves gained an enormous fan following in Manila, Philippines.

However, the fan favorite is on one side, and the champions are on the German side. It is not surprising to see Dennis Schroder enjoying all the love and appreciation he is getting to help the Germans win their first-ever World Cup in basketball. If it is not good news for the Lakers, then it is definitely good news for the Toronto Raptors. But the question remains: Why did Schroder leave the Lakers in free agency after helping them reach the conference finals last season?

   

Dennis Schroder Explains Why He Chose Raptors Over Lakers In Free Agency

Dennis Schroder
Dennis Schroder (Los Angeles Lakers)

The Lakers perhaps signed Gabe Vincent from the Miami Heat a bit too soon. They did not give Dennis Schroder a chance to agree to a contract extension with them. However, Dennis Schroder told NBA Today’s Malika Andrews that his long-time friend from Oklahoma City Thunder’s days was a big motivation to sign with the Toronto Raptors. The current head coach of the Raptors, Darko Rajakovic, became good friends with Schroder five years ago back with OKC. Moreover, Dennis Schroder told his agent that since Darko is the head coach of the Raptors, it looks like a good team to join. Adding to that, Schroder mentioned, “I want to be there.”

When Schroder was playing his first season with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Darko Rajakovic was serving his last year as the team’s assistant coach. Moreover, the Thunder did not do well that season as they faced elimination in Round 1 despite having top players like Russell Westbrook and Paul George. But that’s when the friendship began between Schroder and Darko Rajakovic. Over the last ten years, Rajakovic, the new Raptors coach, has been part of some exciting teams, especially in the Western Conference.

Fans Of The Raptors Will Hope The Darko-Dennis Friendship Help Them Win Titles

Dennis Schroder Raptors
Dennis Schroder Raptors Source: Daily Hive

Looks like the Raptors won’t have it easy with just Dennis Schroder next season. They lost Fred VanVleet, and the future of Pascal Siakam is still pretty uncertain. But Darko Rajakovic can feel a bit of ease. Especially after seeing a familiar face in the team’s offense to go through that transition. Moreover, the 2019 champions gave a pretty good offer to the FIBA World Cup MVP.

Dennis Schroder signed a two-year contract worth $26 million with the Toronto Raptors. It is a pretty deal. But the ten-year veteran cites his friendship with Darko Rajakovic as the main reason for switching teams. Now the question is whether this friendship counts for something special for the Raptors fans in the future.