The Boston Celtics have acquired veteran point guard Dennis Schroder with the taxpayer's midlevel exception. In making this deal, the Celtics get another veteran point guard who can either marshal the second unit or step into the starting guard role. This deal allows Schroder to rebuild some value ahead of next year's free agency, where he will be looking to obtain a substantial pay rise.
President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens has made some shrewd moves to strengthen the Boston Celtics' core rotation throughout the summer. From the acquisition of Josh Richardson to the signing of Enes Kanter on a veteran minimum contract, the Celtics now boast a diverse roster capable of changing offensive and defensive approaches at a moment's notice.
By adding Dennis Schroder, the Boston Celtics have solved one of the biggest questions of their off-season. Since trading Kemba Walker to the Oklahoma City Thunder in July, the Celtics' guard rotation has looked malnourished from an offensive standpoint.
Adding the eight-year veteran will provide the Celtics with the offensive punch they need while also ensuring they're not giving up too much on the defensive end. However, those expecting Dennis Schroder to provide the offensive creation the Celtics have been craving will be slightly disappointed.
While Schroder's a capable passer, he is a shoot-first type of guard. Throughout his career, the Braunschweig native has never ranked higher than the 40th percentile for the assist:usage ratio, which determines how often a player made an assist compared to how often they had the ball.
What the Boston Celtics will get is a guard capable of penetrating the defense and forcing rotations. The 27-year-old guard enjoys pressuring the rim on offense and taking advantage of over-eager defenses in the mid-range area. In fact, last season, only 25% of Schroder's shot attempts came from the three-point territory - roughly average for his career.
What does the Boston Celtics roster look like after Dennis Schroder's addition?
So how does the addition of Schroder improve the Boston Celtics? First of all, let’s look at their latest recruits and how their depth chart looks at this point.
The Boston Celtics depth chart now projects to be as follows:
On paper, the Boston Celtics have resolved multiple issues that ailed their roster last season. They've added penetration, additional wing defense, some secondary ball-handling and playmaking, and, most importantly, more veteran leadership.
Schroder will be licking his wounds after betting on himself last off-season, turning down an $84 million offer from the Los Angeles Lakers. Now on a shade under $6 million for the year, the polarizing guard will have a point to prove. Whether that's a good or bad point for the Celtics is something we'll have to wait and see.
However, Ime Udoka now has a team capable of throwing the shackles on opposing offenses, with the length to be a frustrating opponent in the passing lanes. Far too often last season, Brad Stevens would lament the Boston Celtics' lack of length - both vertically and horizontally - and has obviously made a point of adding those physical attributes to the roster.
Shockingly, despite Stevens targeting bigger players, Schroder doesn't fit that mold. At 6'1'', the former first-round pick is rather undersized for his position, but that doesn't stop him from being a hound-dog on defense.
According to BBall Index, Schroder's best defensive skill is at the point of attack, making him an excellent player to rotate along with Marcus Smart. Having two guards capable of clamping down the opposition's best offensive weapon is a luxury the Celtics haven't had in two or three seasons. So from that perspective, Schroder is a clear upgrade over Kemba Walker.
In all, the Boston Celtics added an elite role-playing guard who has flashed borderline All-Star talent in the past and done so for the taxpayer MLE. Schroder will improve the team on both sides of the floor and provide a steady presence when the Celtics' younger contingent runs the show.
Entering the off-season with clear holes at the guard spot to plug, Schroder's addition makes sense from both a basketball and financial viewpoint. The Boston Celtics get a player hell-bent on redemption, and should he play to his usual level, he could be a potential trade chip closer to the deadline.
The biggest decision Ime Udoka now faces is whether Schroder should be the Celtics' starting guard or elite-level sixth man - a position he finished second in for Sixth Man of the Year honors during his final season in Oklahoma.
Nevertheless, the Boston Celtics are a far more versatile and robust team following Stevens' moves this off-season, and Schroder is the icing on the cake.
Also Read: Who is Dennis Schröder’s wife, Ellen Ziolo?