Dennis Schröder

Atlantic Notes: Gasol, Lowry, Durant, Paul

The Raptors might offer Marc Gasol a one-year deal, but he’ll likely have more pursuers, according to The Toronto Star’s Doug Smith. Although Gasol didn’t have a notable impact in the postseason, the Raptors can re-sign the veteran center to a short-team deal and preserve cap space for next summer. However, he might get a multi-year offer elsewhere or play overseas.

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry will become an unrestricted free agent after next season and it’s quite possible he could finish his career elsewhere, Smith writes in a separate story. It’s unlikely the Raptors will offer him an extension beforehand, since they’re hoping to keep their options open in 2021 free agency. Lowry, who will make $30.5MM next season, has shown he has plenty left in the tank. But his long run with the team could eventually end if Fred VanVleet is re-signed this summer.
  • Kevin Durant has been working out and playing full court with Nets teammates in Los Angeles, Net Income of NetsDaily relays. Durant, who sat out this season rehabbing his ruptured Achilles, says he feels “like myself” but still has a long way to go to reach his previous level. “I’m in a stage now where we’re just hooping every day,” Durant said on Joe Budden’s podcast. “I feel good waiting for next season to get back.”
  • How could Chris Paul land in Philadelphia? A number of Athletic writers explore various trade possibilities with either Paul or fellow Thunder guard Dennis Schroder – or even both – winding up with the Sixers.

Montrezl Harrell Named Sixth Man Of The Year

Clippers center Montrezl Harrell has won the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award for the 2019/20 season, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (via Twitter). Harrell beat out fellow finalists Dennis Schröder and teammate Lou Williams for the award.

Harrell, 26, enjoyed the best season of his career in 2019/20, averaging 18.6 PPG, 7.1 RPG, and 1.1 BPG on 58.0% shooting in 63 games (27.8 MPG) for the Clippers. Although he was technically the team’s backup center behind Ivica Zubac, Harrell was typically relied upon in the team’s closing lineups.

As Fred Katz of The Athletic observes (via Twitter), Harrell’s win represents a deviation from the norm, as the award almost always goes to a high-scoring guard. In the last decade, Williams and Jamal Crawford have won the award multiple times, with Eric Gordon, J.R. Smith, and James Harden also taking it home. Lamar Odom was the last non-guard to be named Sixth Man of the Year in 2011.

The Sixth Man of the Year was one of the few NBA awards this summer whose outcome was in doubt, as Schröder and Williams also submitted strong cases. The Thunder point guard averaged 18.9 PPG, 4.0 APG, and 3.6 RPG on .469/.385/.839 shooting, while Williams – who won the award in 2018 and 2019 – put up 18.2 PPG, 5.6 APG, and 3.1 RPG.

Harrell received 58 of 100 potential first-place votes for the award, with Schröder getting 35 and Williams receiving the final seven. Here are the full voting results, per the NBA:

  1. Montrezl Harrell, Clippers (397 total points)
  2. Dennis Schröder, Thunder (328)
  3. Lou Williams, Clippers (127)
  4. Christian Wood, Pistons (17)
  5. George Hill, Bucks (17)
  6. Goran Dragic, Heat (6)
  7. Derrick Rose, Pistons (5)
  8. Davis Bertans, Wizards (2)
  9. Dwight Howard, Lakers (1)

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dennis Schroder, P.J. Tucker Fined For Game 5 Scuffle

Thunder guard Dennis Schroder and Rockets forward P.J. Tucker have each been fined $25,000 for their involvement in a scuffle that occurred on Saturday, the NBA announced in a press release.

The incident occurred with 6:51 remaining in the third quarter of Game 5, with both players being ejected following the altercation. Schroder was fined for making contact to Tucker’s groin area, while Tucker was fined for approaching Schroder, making contact with him, and escalating the situation, the league said.

“It’s never that,” Schroder said on whether his blow was intentional, as relayed by Erik Horne of The Athletic (Twitter link). “We’re competitors. We go out there and compete as hard as we can, but for me, my family didn’t raise me that way to hurt somebody intentionally.”

Tucker was asked on Sunday whether he believes the statement and whether Schroder reached out after the incident, to which he replied, “No and no,” Mark Berman of Fox 26 tweets.

The Rockets ultimately routed the Thunder 114-80, taking a 3-2 series lead. Tucker finished with five points and two steals in 21 minutes, while Schroder recorded 19 points in 20 minutes of work. The two teams will meet for Game 6 on Monday night.

Dennis Schröder Returns To NBA’s Campus

Thunder guard Dennis Schröder has returned to the NBA’s campus at Walt Disney World, a team spokesperson confirmed to Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman on Tuesday. Schröder left Orlando over a week ago in order to be with his wife for the birth of their second child.

Assuming Schröder tested negative for the coronavirus for each of the last seven days while away from the campus, the expectation is that he’ll have to quarantine for just four days now that he’s back at Disney World. We don’t know exactly when Schröder returned and began quarantining, so it remains to be seen whether he’ll be available to play in Oklahoma City’s final seeding game on Friday vs. the Clippers.

At the very least, Schröder figures to miss Wednesday’s game against Miami. If the veteran guard doesn’t clear quarantine in time for Friday’s game, the Thunder will plan to work him back into the rotation during the first game of the postseason next week, barring any quarantine- or testing-related complications.

While he was away from the NBA’s campus, Schröder was named a finalist for the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award for 2019/20. He has enjoyed the best year of his career in OKC this season, averaging 18.9 PPG, 4.0 APG, and 3.7 RPG with career-best shooting percentages of 46.9% from the floor and 37.9% from beyond the arc.

Doncic, Porzingis, SGA Among Players Out For Monday’s Games

Mavericks stars Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis won’t play in Monday’s game against Utah, according to the league’s official injury report. Dallas will also be without starting forward Dorian Finney-Smith.

Doncic and Porzingis are both listed out due to “injury recovery” — right ankle for Doncic and left knee for Porzingis. Finney-Smith, meanwhile, is dealing with a left hip strain.

At 42-30, the No. 7 Mavericks are two games behind the sixth-seeded Jazz (43-27), so today’s game has seeding implications. If the Mavs lose, they’ll be locked into the No. 7 seed in the West. Utah, just a half-game behind the No. 5 Thunder, could still move up a spot or two in the standings, though the team may prefer to remain at No. 6 if it means avoiding the Rockets in the first round. Houston has eliminated the Jazz in the postseason in each of the last two years.

Donovan Mitchell has also been downgraded from questionable to out for today’s game due to a left lower leg peroneal strain, according to the Jazz (via Twitter).

Meanwhile, per the league’s injury report, the Thunder will be without Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (right calf contusion), Steven Adams (left lower leg contusion), Danilo Gallinari (left ankle injury maintenance), and Nerlens Noel (right ankle sprain), in addition to missing Dennis Schröder, who remains out for personal reasons after attending the birth of his child.

Those absences bode well for the Suns, who will need to remain undefeated in the bubble in order to keep pace in the race for the Western Conference’s final playoff spot. As we detailed earlier today, Phoenix won’t technically be eliminated from postseason contention with a loss, but it would make the path to a play-in spot a whole lot more difficult.

NBA Announces Finalists For 2019/20 Awards

The NBA has announced the finalists for several awards as the seeding games on the Orlando campus move forward and the postseason nears. It was announced in July that all awards for the 2019/20 season would be based on games up until March 11, when the coronavirus pandemic shuttered play. Media members made their votes before the seeding games began on July 30.

NBA Most Valuable Player Finalists:

NBA Defensive Player of the Year:

NBA Rookie of the Year:

NBA Most Improved Player:

NBA Sixth Man of the Year:

NBA Coach of the Year:

  • Mike Budenholzer (Bucks)
  • Billy Donovan (Thunder)
  • Nick Nurse (Raptors)

The winners for the awards will be announced during the NBA playoffs after the seeding games period concludes on August 14.

Dennis Schröder Leaves NBA Campus For Birth Of Child

As expected, Thunder guard Dennis Schröder has left the NBA’s Walt Disney World campus in order to be with his wife for the birth of their second child, head coach Billy Donovan confirmed today, per ESPN’s Dave McMenamin.

“It happened this morning so he’s with his family at this point in time,” Donovan said. “I’ll have a chance to probably talk to him and find out a little bit more, if it’s not later today, tomorrow. But right now for at least this game, he’ll be out. We’ll probably be able to gather some more information once we get a chance to spend a little bit more time with his over the phone.”

Shortly after the Thunder arrived at the NBA’s campus last month, Schröder indicated that he anticipated leaving in early August for the birth of his child, so his departure doesn’t come as a surprise.

A Sixth Man of the Year candidate, Schröder has enjoyed the best season of his career in 2019/20, averaging 18.9 PPG, 4.0 APG, and 3.7 RPG with career-best shooting percentages of 46.9% from the floor and 37.9% from beyond the arc.

The NBA’s protocols for leaving and re-entering the Disney campus call for a quarantine period of four days when a player returns. That quarantine period can be extended all the way up to 10-14 days if the player doesn’t test negative for COVID-19 each day that he’s away (or for seven consecutive days leading up to his return, if he’s gone for more than a week). However, it seems likely that Schröder will make sure to get tested daily during his absence.

Even if Schröder’s absence is brief, he’s probably on track to miss at least the Thunder’s games against Denver (today), the Lakers (Wednesday), and the Grizzlies (Friday).

Losing the veteran guard for a handful of their seeding games will create a tougher path for the Thunder as they look to improve their place in the standings. At 41-24, Oklahoma City currently ranks sixth in the West, but is just a half-game behind Utah and Houston and only 1.5 games behind the third-seeded Nuggets.

Western Notes: Fox, Schröder, Suns, Cauley-Stein

On Wednesday, the Kings gave us an update on De’Aaron Fox, who suffered a left ankle sprain last week. The Kings said that the former first-round pick has returned to the court and is doing non-contact basketball activities.

That being said, Fox is not available for the team’s first scrimmage against the Heat. However, head coach Luke Walton told reporters that they are optimistic will be available for the team’s opener on Jul. 31 against the Spurs (Twitter link via James Ham of NBC Sports California).

This season, the former Kentucky Wildcat standout is averaging 20.4 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 6.8 APG, and 1.4 SPG in 31.7 MPG.

Here’s more from around the Western Conference:

  • Speaking with reporters on Wednesday, Thunder general manager Sam Presti explained why he believes Dennis Schröder is worthy of winning Sixth Man of the Year. “I think he’s playing the best basketball of his career,” Presti said (via Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman). “He’s all about trying to do what’s right for the team right now, and he’s just an elite competitor. I’m happy that he’s playing so well, and I hope he does get recognized for it.” This season, the veteran guard is averaging 19 PPG while shooting 38.1% from three-point range.
  • The Suns announced on Wednesday that point guards Elie Okobo and Jalen Lecque are not in Orlando due to personal reasons, per Gina Mizell (Twitter link). However, both players are expected to arrive at a later date. With Ricky Rubio clearing quarantine, both Okobo and Lecque will not see major minutes for Phoenix.
  • According to Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News, Willie Cauley-Stein signed with Young Money APAA Sports, an agency based in Dallas, Texas. The 26-year-old is not with the Mavericks in Orlando due to the birth of his daughter this month. Dallas acquired the young center in February from the Warriors.

Dennis Schröder Intends To Leave Orlando For Birth Of Child

Crucial Thunder backup guard Dennis Schröder has announced that he will leave the NBA’s Orlando restart campus in “three or four weeks” to join his pregnant wife for the birth of their second child, according to Royce Young of ESPN (Twitter link).

“I love basketball, but the family comes first all the time,” Schröder said of his decision to eventually, albeit temporarily, leave the Thunder during the season’s restart (link). “I’ll try to make something happen with the organization…. I’m not going to leave my wife by herself while she’s [having] the second baby. [Son Dennis Malick Schröder Jr.] is still 17 months old.”

Missing Schröder for any extended period of time would be a big blow for Oklahoma City as the club battles for playoff seeding in the West’s crowded middle tier. The team, currently the No. 5 seed with a 40-24 record, currently own the tiebreaker over the sixth-seeded Rockets, who possess the same record.

Schröder, a top contender for the Sixth Man of the Year award, ranks third on the Thunder in average minutes per game (31.0), behind All-Star Chris Paul (31.8) and promising second-year guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (35.1). Coach Billy Donovan has seen great results when playing all three players, each nominally a point guard, together.

A player who receives permission to leave the Disney campus for a family situation will be required to quarantine for four days upon returning, as long as he’s gone for fewer than seven days and tests negative for COVID-19 each day that he’s away.

International Notes: Zizic, EuroLeague, Schroder, Sirvydis

Maccabi Tel Aviv is interested in signing Cavaliers center Ante Zizic next season, according to Dario Skerletic of Sportando. Zizic will be a free agent after Cleveland declined his fourth-year option in October.

Zizic got into just 22 games this year, averaging 4.4 points and 3.0 rebounds in 10 minutes per night. The 23-year-old center is in his third season with the Cavs after being acquired from Boston in the Kyrie Irving deal.

There’s more international news to pass along:

  • Most EuroLeague players are against resuming the season, tweets Greek basketball writer George Zakkas. A conference call was held yesterday in which players expressed their concerns about the coronavirus and the risk of injury if the season were to start again. The players were unanimous in their stance, which surprised league officials, according to Ennio Terrasi Borghesan of Sportando. The 11 A-licensed EuroLeague teams will vote tomorrow morning on whether the season will resume. Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia has heard that four teams seem to be in favor of restarting, while five clubs are against it (Twitter link).
  • The BBL in Germany has released its schedule for a 10-team tournament to crown a league champion, Borghesan writes in a separate piece. The opening game is set for June 6 with the finals on June 26 and 28.
  • Thunder guard Dennis Schroder will become the sole owner of his hometown team in Braunschweig, Germany, on July 1, Skerletic notes in a separate story. “I am very happy to be the sole shareholder of the Lions.” Schroder said. “… I want to give something back to the region. I am convinced that we can develop the team further and make it a top club in the league.”
  • Pistons draft-and-stash player Deividas Sirvydis has agreed to a long-term deal with Hapoel Jerusalem, Carchia writes. Detroit selected the 19-year-old forward in the second round last year.
  • Former NBA center Tarik Black has left Maccabi Tel Aviv, Lupo relays.