By Johnny Askounis/ email@example.com
The last few years have been a bumpy ride for Dennis Schroder, from his career in the NBA to the senior national team of Germany.
Schroder, 28, is currently an unrestricted free agent, featuring on multiple lists of top players still available in the market. However, finding a new home in the NBA is not the priority. Leading Germany to success is the task at hand.
Since joining the training camp, he has brushed off inquiries regarding his future in the NBA. A sample of the apparent focus on approaching international fixtures was taking off with 21 points and seven assists in the recent friendly win against Belgium. Germany will be back in action tonight, Friday, facing the Netherlands in Almere. A four-team tournament next week in Hamburg will wrap up the preparation part heading to the next batch of 2023 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers and 2022 EuroBasket.
At the senior international level, Schroder was a key part of Germany finishing sixth overall in the 2017 EuroBasket. The 2019 FIBA World Cup and 2015 EuroBasket were not equally pleasant. Looking into the 2022 EuroBasket, Germany will host the knockout stage in Berlin, but to reach the next round must rank first through fourth in the extremely competitive Group B of the preliminary round colliding with France, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Lithuania, Slovenia, and Hungary in Cologne.
Before EuroBasket and the games scheduled from 1 to 18 September, Germany will start Group J of the World Cup European Qualifiers by visiting Sweden and hosting Slovenia on 25 and 28 August, respectively. Carrying a 5-1 record from the previous round provides a head start in the race for a ticket to the 2023 World Cup.
After missing last summer’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Split and the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Schroder resurfaced in style for FIBA’s previous international window. Averaging 26.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 7.0 assists, and 2.5 steals per game were instrumental in the wins versus Estonia and Poland earlier in the ongoing offseason.
Reportedly rejecting the offer of the Los Angeles Lakers for a four-year, $84M contract extension during the 2020-21 season has been a haunting decision to deal with for the explosive point guard. He went on to sign a one-year, $5.9M dollar contract with the Boston Celtics and was traded to the Houston Rockets last February. Stuck in the free-agent pool can turn into a blessing in disguise if solid displays with Germany extend through the next five weeks.
Photo Credit: FIBA.BASKETBALL