The rumor mill is cranking in Boston with the Celtics expected to be fairly active at the deadline. While Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown remain integral to the C’s future plan, Boston is looking to “reconfigure the pieces” around the two Jays, per Heavy.com’s Steve Bulpett.
Veteran Al Horford is apparently being shopped in hopes of yielding another center, according to The Athletic’s Jared Weiss. Josh Richardson is continuously floated in trade talks, while Marcus Smart officially became eligible to be dealt on January 25. However, it’s a fellow Celtics guard who is most likely to be donning a new uniform come mid-February.
Outperforming his one-year, $5.9 million contract, Dennis Schroder is primed for a major pay boost next season. Problem is, Boston can’t exactly supply him with such, as they don’t have his Bird Rights and are capped at offering him a contract worth approximately $7.1 million in 2022-23. With that in mind, Schroder is widely viewed as expendable in NBA circles — despite his solid production.
Schroder’s ‘Most Logical Destination’
As for who may take a swing at the 28-year-old guard on the trade market, The Athletic’s John Hollinger believes it’s quite obvious. “I think Cleveland is by far the most logical destination,” he wrote on January 25.
In terms of what a potential Schroder deal to the Cavaliers may look like, Hollinger proposed Cleveland package two bottom of the roster players alongside a second-round draft choice to acquire the services of the Boston College product.
“The Cavs could trade Kevin Pangos, Ed Davis and the better of their own or Golden State’s 2023 second-round pick for Schröder and stay just under the tax; the same deal would keep Boston below the line,” he noted.
Through 42 games, Schroder ranks second on the Celtics in assists (4.6 per game) and third in scoring (15.4 points per game). With Smart’s recent return to the lineup, Schroder has shifted back to a bench role where he’ll likely stay should he remain a Celtic past the deadline.
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Time Lord Staying Put?
While Schroder may be in the midst of his final days in Beantown, the hope is Robert Williams remains a Celtic for the foreseeable future.
On January 26, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype reported that Williams “has drawn interest around the league from teams, but rival executives believe Boston will hold onto Williams and view him as part of the core around Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.”
Williams, 24, has started all 38 of his games for the Celtics this season, averaging a near double-double. His 9.9 points, 9.4 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game all mark new career highs for the former two-time SEC Defensive Player of the Year.
While his game does have its limitations, namely an inability to stretch the floor, Williams has certainly been worth the four-year, $48 million extension he inked this past offseason. With Time Lord under contract through the 2025-26 season, there’s no real reason for the Celtics to get trigger happy with their young center at this year’s deadline.