According to Schultz, the Celtics’ offer to Schröder is a one-year deal worth the taxpayer mid-level exception (approximately $5.9MM). However, Schröder is seeking a second-year player option and a deal worth the full mid-level exception (about $9.5MM), per Schultz.
Going above the taxpayer portion of the MLE would hard-cap the Celtics, which the team wants to avoid, Schultz notes. There have also been reports that Boston wants to create as much cap flexibility as possible in 2022, which may make the club reluctant to tack on a second-year player option for Schröder.
Despite the current impasse, there’s reason to believe the Celtics and Schröder could be a good match. Boston has been in the market for a new point guard after having traded Kemba Walker to Oklahoma City in June, and opportunities around the league are drying up for Schröder, who was viewed as one of the top point guards on the market entering free agency. A short-term deal that gives the Celtics another backcourt play-maker and scorer and gives the 27-year-old a chance to rebuild his value could benefit both sides.
According to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, the Celtics are exploring possible trades involving Kris Dunn and/or Bruno Fernando before “concluding” their conversations with Schröder. If Boston could shed salary in a deal involving Dunn and Fernando and create more breathing room below a potential hard cap, perhaps the team would be more willing to go above the taxpayer mid-level for Schröder.