According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, “Rival teams expect the Celtics to be open to talks around guard Dennis Schröder.”
Schroder infamously rejected a four-year, $84 million extension offered to him in the middle of last season by the Los Angeles Lakers. His play dipped after a late-season injury, and following a poor showing in the Lakers’ first-round playoff loss to the Phoenix Suns, it was clear Schroder would have to settle for far less than he turned down.
After lingering in free agency, the Brunswick, Germany native settled for a one-year deal with the Celtics worth the $5.9 million mid-level exception. Schroder’s averaging 17.5 points, 4.9 assists, and 3.6 rebounds this season, and he’s started in 17 of Boston’s 27 games.
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Given Schroder’s ability to easily outperform his current contract and the $10 million taxpayer mid-level exception, the Celtics’ cap sheet makes re-signing him while not having his bird rights an improbable outcome. Since they don’t have his bird rights and can’t go deeper into the tax to re-sign Schroder, this was always going to be a one-year partnership at the longest.
And with Boston off to a 13-14 start and 10th in the East, struggling to break the bad habits they’ve developed in recent years, trading Schroder in-season is becoming increasingly likely. He becomes trade-eligible on Dec 15, along with most free agents signed this offseason, expanding the number of NBA players who fall into that category to 84 percent.
Schroder’s play has been up and down, at times hijacking the offense or committing careless turnovers, and there are instances where he isn’t as engaged defensively as he should be. As valuable as his scoring and ability to generate points in the paint are to a team prone to cold shooting and offensive dry spells, the Celtics may decide it’s best to trade Schroder for a more lethal three-point shooter or better facilitator. They also may prioritize adding future first-round picks in return for him.
Regardless of how long Schroder’s in Boston, even with top rotation players constantly missing from the Celtics’ lineup, most notably Jaylen Brown, it’s clear they need to reconfigure their roster. Some believe that means breaking up the Jays, whether that’s in-season or over the summer. This author believes it’s best to surround them with players who better complement their strengths and …….