With rumors swirling of a potential union between Dennis Schroder and the Boston Celtics, the natural question of how that can happen is the logical next step from speculation.
Schroder was hoping to get a deal in the ballpark of $84 million over four years, turning down that exact offer during the season from the Los Angeles Lakers. That doesn’t appear to be on the market now, hence the free-agent discussions with the cash-strapped Cs.
While there are other cheaper options President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens could pursue, none raise the ceiling of the team quite as Schroder does. At his best, the German guard is capable of putting up stat lines with 19 points, six assists, and three rebounds per game.
Boston still has the MLE to offer Schroder, but MassLive’s Brian Robb mentioned a different means of landing him.
A sign-and-trade involving Marcus Smart:
"The Celtics do have another way of acquiring Schroder if he isn’t willing to settle for just the mid-level exception. The Lakers still have Bird Rights on him so they could sign-and-trade him to Boston. For that move to be legal, the contract would need to be three years (first year guaranteed) and Boston would need to stay under the hard cap of $142 million once the deal is completed. A straight-up salary for salary sign-and-trade could also work from a trade matching standpoint (i.e. Smart for Schroder)."
Personally, the Houdini thinks that giving Smart to the Los Angeles Lakers to play alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis would more than likely lead to undesirable results, though the prospect of Smart and Russell Westbrook shooting them out of postseason games is a fun thought.
What I would like to see is Los Angeles taking Josh Richardson instead, and Stevens deciding to punt on potential free agents in 2022 by using his MLE on another win-now piece like Paul Milsap or a returning LaMarcus Aldridge.
But prudence seems to be on the agenda, so the likeliest Schroder to the Boston Celtics outcome would be a short-term deal and not a sign-and-trade.