Dennis Schroder Explains Why He Left Lakers to Join Raptors

Raptors Schroder

German basketball hero Dennis Schroder is set to reunite with his national coach Darko Rajakovic at the Toronto Raptors this season.

In July, Schroder opted to leave the Lakers and sign a two-year, $26 million contract with the Raptors.

This was right before the FIBA Basketball World Cup campaign – where Schroder played for Germany and just so happened to be coached by Rajakovic.

Schroder admitted the main reason for him signing with Toronto was because of his history with Rajakovic.

“I think Darko [Rajakovic], the head coach,” Schroder said on ESPN’s NBA Today. “I met him five years ago in OKC, we became friends and I like how he was coaching myself and the team. He called me right away when he took over and I said to my agent that I wanted to be there, I wanted to be a part of that. I think it’s a great fit, play like in the national team: handling the ball a little bit more, go out and run.”

If FIBA was a preview of things to come in Toronto then look out, because the German team were the surprise packet, as well as the powerhouses of the tournament.

They caused a shock upset against Team USA in the semi-finals and then went on to beat Serbia to a gold medal, which marked the first time in the country’s history its ever won gold at a FIBA tournament.

The Raptors guard earned himself FIBA MVP honors for his performances by averaging 19.1 points and 6.1 assists per game.

The 30-year-old began his professional basketball career back in 2011 when he played for Braunschweig and made the transition to the NBA when he was selected as the 17th overall pick by the Hawks in 2013.

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As for Rajakovic, Toronto hired the Serbian native to replace Nick Nurse after the franchise finished ninth in the Eastern Conference and struck out in the first round of the play-in tournament against Chicago.

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