Boston Celtics x-factor No. 2) Dennis Schroder
The biggest steal of a signing, not just for the Boston Celtics but, arguably, during the entire league’s free agency period, Dennis Schroder comes to the shamrocks after having quite a disappointing season in La La Land.
Traded to the Lakers last offseason after having a tremendous 2019-20 run with the Oklahoma City Thunder, expectations were rather high for the guard as he was transitioning from a highly impactful reserve role for a first-round exit squad to the starting point guard for the defending champions.
Turning down an $80 million extension with the ball club a few months into the campaign, it was evident that Schroder was anticipating a big year individually and, in turn, believed his performance could wind up snagging him a more lucrative contract on the open market.
Unfortunately, the veteran failed to live up to his lofty expectations, posting average per-game numbers of 15.4 points, 5.8 assists, 3.5 rebounds, and 1.1 steals on 44 percent shooting from the floor and nearly 34 percent shooting from deep.
Likely regretting his decision to turn down LA’s extension from a financial perspective, Schroder ultimately had to settle for a mere one-year contract worth $5.9 million with the Cs and now, heading into 2021-22, finds himself on a quest for redemption.
Baring any shifts to Ime Udoka’s expected mindset on the team’s rotation, the 27-year-old should be used as Boston’s trusty spark-plug off the bench, serving as the team’s sixth man to lead the second unit and log some serious minutes alongside key starters as well.
The last time he found himself slotted into such a role was two years ago in OKC where he dropped 18.9 points, four assists, and 3.6 rebounds a night on 47 percent shooting from the field and 38.5 percent shooting from deep and, with his production, finished second in the running for the Sixth Man of the Year award.
Are we saying that we expect Schroder to produce at this exact level during this upcoming season?
That said, if he can play with the same effectiveness as he did whilst last serving as a sixth man, he should easily help make Boston’s bench unit more menacing than it has been in recent years which, in turn, should make the team as a whole much more efficient.