It’s been almost a given in NBA circles that the Celtics will move Dennis Schroder to get under the luxury tax, and while that remains the most likely outcome, we’re hearing it’s possible he could still be on the club after Thursday.
With Jaylen Brown not making the All-Star Game, his cap number decreases, based on the likely incentive for earning the honor in a second straight year. That puts the number the Celts must cut at less than $1 million, giving them other options to accomplish that goal.
And a couple of NBA clubs that have looked into Schroder have found that the Celtics aren’t just looking to give him away. In his last three games, Schroder has averaged 14.3 points, 51.5% shooting and 4.0 assists.
“He’s been playing well, and he’s been a good part of what they’re doing lately,” said one league exec. “I still think they might prefer to move him, but now they’re looking for an asset in return. They don’t feel like they HAVE to trade him now, and they’d like to turn him into an asset for next year.”
The feeling here is that if Boston can get something at all reasonable for Schroder, they’re comfortable replacing his minutes at the point with Payton Pritchard and Josh Richardson — though at least some there would like to keep Schroder in case of injury to someone higher in the rotation.
The Knicks’ ‘Messed-Up’ Summer to Forget
There is the feeling among many NBA execs that clubs are pulling back to a degree in these last hours before Thursday’s 3 p.m. ET NBA trade deadline.
“But there is always room for crazy,” one general manager told Heavy.com.
A couple of sources noted how interesting it is to see the Knicks trying to make something happen and get their season turned in a more positive direction.
“It’s funny,” said one. “They were the toast of the town last year. Interest was big in New York again, and everyone saw them as a team to keep an eye on. Now they’re below .500 and scrambling to make a move.”
After finishing at 41-31 in the COVID-shortened season, the Knicks have lost nine of their last 11 and take a 24-30 mark into Tuesday night’s game in Denver.
“Everyone’s available there really,” said a league source. “They like some of their young guys, but it looks like they messed up last summer.
“You saw how good things were looking at the end of last year, and then they has something like $50 million to spend. Now they’d like to get off the three guys they signed then — Kemba (Walker), (Evan) Fournier and Alec Burks. It’s amazing to look at where they were and what they did with it.”
One reason there hasn’t been even more trade talk?
“I think it’s the new playoff system,” said one coach of the play-in situation where two more than the traditional eight from each conference enter the process to determine the seventh and eighth seeds. “If there wasn’t a ninth and 10th place, I think there’d be a lot more going on.”
He noted there are some general managers that see some success in just getting in.
“It’s all about the optics of it,” he said. “If there were no play-in games, teams would be looking at rebuilding and would be more open to make moves. Now I don’t think a lot of stuff with major guys is going to happen until the draft.”
NBA Trade Deadline Notes
- Miami was said to be active recently, but as it’s seen how things are going, it may be content to just wait on the returns of Victor Oladipo and Markieff Morris. Oladipo has not played since April 8 because of knee surgery and Morris has been out since his November 8 run-in with Nikola Jokic.
- One front office source insists there’s another Sacramento trade coming. “That one (Tyrese Halliburton, Buddy Hield and Tristan Thompson to Indiana for Domantas Sabonis, Jeremy Lamb and Justin Holiday) is just Part One,” he said.
- We’re told Jerami Grant for Myles Turner was rejected by Indiana, and that Milwaukee has interest in Turner to play the Brook Lopez role. But the Pacers may be sticking with Turner a while to see how he meshes with Halliburton. “Indiana’s been trying to move Turner for three years, but everyone kept asking for Sabonis,” said one GM.