Talks of the Boston Celtics eyeing Dennis Schroder came to light early on Friday, August 6, 2021, and have since continued to gain momentum. Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer reported on Twitter that the Celtics “are engaged in conversations to add” the free-agent point guard, who looks to be operating in a lacking market despite lofty expectations heading into the summer.
Schroder, who rejected a four-year, $84 million contract extension last offseason from the Los Angeles Lakers, is almost certainly not going to cash in on the $100-$120 million deal he was rumored to be seeking. Instead, the 27-year-old now finds himself in a position where he may need to shift his focus to finding a new home that can best help showcase his skill set and revitalize his stock for a future payday.
Considering the Kemba Walker-sized hole left in Boston’s backcourt, a marriage between the Celtics and Schroder looks like a reasonable play for all parties involved. And that marriage could potentially be formed in a historic fashion.
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One possible way that Schroder could find his way to Beantown is through a sign-and-trade with the Lakers. MassLive’s Brian Robb noted this could theoretically spearhead the making of the largest blockbuster deal in NBA history — at least from a pure numbers standpoint.
In this framework, Schroder would latch onto the Tristan Thompson three-team trade that included the Atlanta Hawks and Sacramento Kings, as well as the five-team trade that shipped Russell Westbrook to Los Angeles on draft night. You can see the breakdown of that latter trade below, via FantasyLabs NBA:
Schroder is coming off an up-and-down season during his lone campaign in Los Angeles. Despite starting all of his games played for only the second time in his eight-year career, the German guard saw a statistical dip nearly across the board, averaging 15.4 points, 5.8 assists, and 3.5 rebounds per game. Schroder, who is set to turn 28 years old in September, is just one season removed from finishing second in NBA Sixth Man of the Year voting after averaging 18.9 points per game while shooting a career-best 38.5% from 3-point range.
Celtics Looking to Iron Out Short-Term Deal
The biggest drawback to a sign-and-trade from Boston’s perspective would be the longevity of the contract they’d have to commit to Schroder. Under NBA rules, sign-and-trade contracts must check in at a minimum of three seasons. This would seemingly go against Brad Stevens’ entire MO since taking over as team president this offseason.
The former coach has worked diligently to collect a flurry of one-year contracts as a way to give the team financial flexibility heading into next offseason — more than likely to make a run at a star such as Bradley Beal. Over the last week or so, the team has added the likes of Kris Dunn, Bruno Fernando, Josh Richardson and Enes Kanter, all of whom will enter next season on expiring contracts.
It looks as if Stevens and company would prefer to continue that trend of short-term contracts with Schroder. Per Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, “The Celtics have the non-taxpayer mid-level exception at their disposal and could agree to a short-term deal. [Schroder] and the Celtics could agree to a one-year deal or a two-year deal with a player option, league sources said.”
With that said, Boston’s bullishness on limiting the years could prove to be a sticking point in negotiations, as highlighted by CelticsBlog’s Keith Smith.
“Here’s what a source told me on the Celtics and Dennis Schroder: Both sides have interest. Boston is interested in only a short-term deal, ideally one year,” Smith tweeted. “Schroder is still looking for more money than the Celtics can offer and/or a longer deal.”