Payton Pritchard showed out during the Summer League opener. Yam Madar made his debut and looked like he belonged. Marcus Smart remains one of the league’s best on-ball defenders and took steps forward as a distributor last season. With that said, the Boston Celtics could still use some point guard help following the exit of two-time All-Star Kemba Walker this June. Evidently, president Brad Stevens and company would apparently agree.
Thus far this summer the Celtics have juggled their need at the position with their desire for future financial flexibility. Now, after being linked to numerous big-name targets such as Lonzo Ball and Kyle Lowry, and more moderate-priced pieces like Patty Mills and T.J. McConnell, the Cs look to have finally settled in on their preference.
According to Brian Robb of Mass Live, the Celtics have offered a one-year contract to free-agent guard Dennis Schroder with the “possibility of a two-year deal with a player option as well.” The ball appears to be in Schroder’s court, as Robb notes that the Celtics are actively “waiting on [an] answer” from the former Los Angeles Lakers starter.
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Celtics Bullish on Avoiding Being Hard-Capped
Boston could theoretically offer Schroder the full mid-level exception of $9.5 million. Yet, as NBC Sports Boston’s Darren Hartwell highlighted, doing so would mean moving around “other salary on the payroll to stay under the hard cap ($143 million).” With that in mind, the most desirable path to bring Schroder to Boston likely entails offering the 27-year-old the $5.9 million taxpayer mid-level exception, which per ESPN’s Jordan Schultz is what they’ve done in order to avoid being hard-capped.
However, there still looks to be a bit of a holdup on Schroder’s end, as the free agent struggles to come to terms with his fading market value.
Former Lakers Champion Rips Into Schroder
Schroder’s rumored desire for a $100-$120 million contract (per Armin Andres, the VP of the German Basketball Federation) was always viewed as a bit of a stretch. However, as the summer continues to go on, Schroder’s likely regretting his decision to reject a four-year contract worth $84 million from the Lakers last offseason (first reported by ESPN’s Brian Windhorst). Now Schroder is almost certainly headed for a pay cut and will be posed with the task of rebuilding his value on a short-term deal.
While leaving north of $80 million on the table would be a tough pill to swallow on its own, former Lakers champion Robert Horry decided to lay into Schroder a bit more on his decision.
“You said, ‘Oh, I want to return to the Lakers.’ But you wanted to play games,” Horry said on ESPN’s The Jump. “Now you are the disaster of your own game plan. You don’t know what you’re going to do. You probably lost about $60 million because you didn’t sign with the Lakers. Now you’re probably going to have to sign a one-year deal because I don’t think the Lakers are going to bring you back because they’re stacked now. They have no room for you.”
“He wanted to be a starter in this league,” Horry continued. “Now wherever he goes, he’s going to go back to being a backup. I just hope it doesn’t turn out like an [Isaiah Thomas] situation where you pass up on all this money, and you can never recoup it.”
Schroder is coming off an up-and-down campaign during his lone season with the Lakers where he averaged 15.4 points, 5.8 assists and 3.5 rebounds per game. Still, he’s just one season removed from finishing second in the NBA’s Sixth-Man of the Year voting after netting nearly 19 points per game as a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder.