Dennis Schroder has agreed to sign with the Boston Celtics for the $5.9 million taxpayer midlevel exception. Thus ends one of the more bizarre ongoing storylines in the NBA.
Earlier this year, Schroder was offered an $84 million extension by the Los Angeles Lakers. Not only did he pass on it, but he did so in relatively aggressive fashion. He suggested that he was merely betting on himself, with multiple reports indicating he wanted a deal north of $100 million.
Schroder went on to average 15.4 points, 5.8 assists and 3.5 rebounds per game while shooting 43.7 percent from the field for the Lakers. Solid numbers, but not hugely impactful. Beyond that, his bad attitude and awkward personality led to his teammates absolutely hating him.
As soon as free agency commenced, LA immediately replaced Schroder with Russell Westbrook. The 27-year-old likely believed new suitors would step up, but none did. As the market for point guards began to dry up, Schroder’s options dwindled. He lost so much leverage in fact, that he ended up taking two separate L’s before even signing with the Celtics.
First and foremost, Schroder wanted the full MLE, which is $9.5M, and a second-year player option. Boston rejected that and then held firm. Secondly, he wanted a starting gig – but it doesn’t appear as though he is getting that either.
According to NBA insider Keith Smith, “Schroder signed with Boston with no expectation of a starting role. Celtics made it clear that Ime Udoka will evaluate roles and minutes.”
Quite the fall from grace.
Based on people close to Schroder, the young star is full of disbelief and regret about how this process has gone on. That said, he still took to social media on Wednesday to post a defiant five-word message directed at his haters.
“Keep that same energy ppl,” he posted.
In addition, he also posted about his excitement in joining the Celtics.
“I’m proud to announce that for the 2021-22 season I’ll be playing for the Boston Celtics!” Schroder wrote on Instagram. “This is one of the best franchises in NBA history and it will be a honour to put on the green and white and do what I love! I’m going out there every night and leaving it all on the floor for the city!! Who’s ready?”
This is going to be a big year for Schroder. Either he will prove the haters wrong and secure a big deal for himself next year, or he’ll go down in infamy for making one of the most boneheaded financial moves in NBA history. Not quite P.J. Washington bad – but still bad.
— Game 7 (@game7__) August 10, 2021
Boston is coming off a frustrating 2020-21 campaign that saw them finish seventh in the Eastern Conference and lose in five to the Brooklyn Nets in the first round of the playoffs.
Will Schroder be able to help them advance to new heights next year? Time will tell.