Dennis Schroder has found himself outside of the Boston Celtics closing lineup in recent games, and with the trade deadline looming, there could be reason to believe he will be involved in a deal.
According to ESPN’S Bobby Marks in a recent article, the Celtics could look to move the veteran guard at the trade deadline to get under the luxury tax. “Trading Schroder, combined with the likelihood that Jaylen Brown will miss out on his bonuses (All-Star and team achievement), would put the Celtics under the tax threshold,” Marks wrote.
While Boston’s initial motivation to move Schroder is likely to be financial, Brad Stevens will likely notice how Ime Udoka has reduced the guard’s minutes down the stretch as of late.
Schroder, an isolation-heavy guard, has begun to split fan opinion due to the offense stagnating while he’s on the court. Udoka and the coaching staff want an offense built around ball movement and cutting, but Schroder’s game is based around a high pick-and-roll offense designed to attack the basket in one-on-one scenarios.
Marks Urges Celtics to Send Schroder Out West
One of Boston’s most significant problems with keeping Schroder beyond the trade deadline is how unlikely it is that the team will retain him beyond this season. Schroder turned down a sizeable offer from the Los Angeles Lakers last summer before eventually joining the Celtics, and it’s doubtful he takes another team-friendly deal.
Marks believes that the Celtics answer is sending Schroder out West in return for some draft assets. Not only would removing the Braunschweig native get the Celtics below the luxury tax, it would re-stock the cupboard with valuable draft picks while also opening the door for Payton Pritchard to continue his development.
“Dennis Schroder into the Mavericks’ $10.8 million trade exception. The Celtics would get back the Mavericks’ second-round picks in 2022 and 2024. This trade would put the Celtics under the luxury tax,” Marks suggests as a potential trade scenario.
Not only would Boston resolve some of their financial worries by moving on from their veteran speedster, but they would also generate another TPE (traded player exception) to add to their growing list.
Schroder Started Strong but Has Faded Recently
Earlier this season, it seemed unfathomable for the Celtics to consider trading away their recent acquisition. Schroder was one of the lone bright spots on an offense treading water. Oftentimes, it felt like without the impact of the nine-year veteran, and the Celtics would have been victim to numerous blowouts.
However, since his 20-point performance against the New York Knicks on January 5, Schroder hasn’t seen much of the floor in crunch time. Part of that reason is that Marcus Smart is the preferred guard, and the two together are a recipe for disaster due to their poor shooting splits.
Throughout his first 33 games with the Celtics, Schroder is averaging 16.2 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 4.5 assists on 43.6% shooting but just 33.1% from deep, per Basketball-Reference. It’s that lack of three-point shooting, along with Schroder’s tendency to hold the ball too long (he holds the ball for an average of five seconds per possession per NBA Stats), that has seen the former Los Angeles Lakers guard become an expendable asset for Boston.
Perhaps the Celtics would prefer to receive a player back in any potential deal, or maybe the notion of adding picks to the war chest was the plan all along. Either way, the Celtics front office choosing to retain Schroder beyond the deadline would be a curious decision – especially if he’s not playing impactful minutes when the game’s on the line.