Ex-Celtics Starter Expected to Join Contender

Daniel Theis, Kemba Walker

Getty Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens talks with Jayson Tatum #0, Javonte Green #43, Kemba Walker #8, Daniel Theis #27, and Semi Ojeleye #37.

Plenty of Boston Celtics alumni made an appearance during the 2022 EuroBasket Tournament. Among the alumni was former Celtic Daniel Theis, who had played for the team from 2017 to 2021, then briefly again in 2022. Theis played for his home country, Germany, alongside another former Celtic, Dennis Schroder.

In the eight games that Theis played, he averaged 8.8 points a game while shooting 43.8 percent from the field and 35.3 percent from three, according to FIBA.basketball. Theis also averaged 6.1 rebounds and 0.3 blocks a game in that period. Theis’ performance helped Germany get the Bronze medal when the tournament concluded.

Theis’ performance was impressive enough that Keith Smith of CelticsBlog tweeted that his play, combined with being on the rebuilding Indiana Pacers, could make Theis the ideal target for a contender.

Theis originally agreed to his current contract with the Houston Rockets during the 2021 offseason, where he was given a four-year contract worth up to $35,605,510 with a team option for the fourth year, according to Spotrac. Theis is entering the second year of his deal, where he will be paid $8,694,369, and will be paid $9,108,386 the season after that.

It is hard to see why the Pacers would want to keep Theis around since they are starting a rebuild around Tyrese Haliburton, and Theis will be competing for minutes with Myles Turner, Jalen Smith, and Goga Bitadze. However, his contract will be tough to unload if the Pacers plan to trade him.

Other Notable Celtics Alumni at EuroBasket

Besides Theis and Schroder, other Celtics alumni such as Juancho Hernangomez (Spain), Evan Fournier (France), and Shane Larkin (Turkey), among several others, participated in the 2022 EuroBasket Tournament.

Schroder and Hernangomez’s brother, Willy, were among the EuroBasket standouts, as they were named among the five players who made the EuroBasket All-Tournament Team.

Both Schroder and Hernangomez played for the Celtics around the exact same time though both were traded before the deadline.

The Celtics’ prized free agent addition Danilo Gallinari had also participated for Italy, but his time was cut short after suffering a non-contact knee injury that, while first reported as a meniscus tear, was later confirmed to be an ACL tear.

Schroder’s Play Generated Free Agency Buzz

On September 16, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that Schroder had signed with the Los Angeles Lakers to start his second tenure with the team.

However, before Schroder re-joined the Lakers, Marc Stein reported on September 13 that his strong play during the EuroBasket Tournament led to”rising buzz in league circles about his job prospects” and that Schroder “will almost certainly have a new team by month’s end.”

Evidently, it did not take long for Schroder to get that contract since Charania’s report came only three days later. In the eight games Schroder played during EuroBasket, he averaged 22.1 points while shooting 45.1 percent from the field and 32.1 percent from three, according to FIBA.basketball. Schroder’s scoring average ranked fifth among players.

Schroder also averaged 7.1 assists and 1.1 steals a game in that same time span. Schroder’s 7.1 assists also ranked fifth among those who participated in the tournament. It hasn’t been confirmed if his play led directly to the Lakers bringing him back, but Schroder will be playing in familiar territory since he’s played with LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook in the past.

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