Dennis Schröder

Celtics Notes: Brown, Richardson, Schröder, Udoka

Jaylen Brown is ready for the challenge of a new season after finishing the last one on the sidelines, writes Taylor Snow of Brown had to undergo surgery and miss the playoffs after tearing the scapholunate ligament in his left wrist in May.

“I never had surgery before, so this was a first for me,” he said. “Definitely the mental part of it was interesting. The wrist takes so long to heal, it was kind of frustrating at times. But my body got a chance to heal, my mind got a chance to be refreshed, and right now I feel great. I feel lighter than ever, faster than ever, stronger than ever.”

Brown was limited physically after the operation, so he concentrated on watching film to get a better understanding of his opponents. Much of the film focused on the league’s top playmakers, and Brown hopes to add that aspect to his game this season.

“There’s a few guys, especially in the playmaking department that I watched,” Brown said. “So I’m looking forward to going out and showing all the things that I watched.”

There’s more from Boston:

  • Josh Richardson is hoping to re-establish himself with the Celtics after being traded for the third straight offseason, per Jared Weiss of The Athletic. He expects to benefit from a reunion with new head coach Ime Udoka, who was an assistant when Richardson was with the Sixers. “I think that the way we see things basketball-wise lines up and he’s always been a straight shooter,” Richardson said. “That’s how I know him and that’s how I am and that’s how I would like my coaches to be.”
  • Al Horford reached out to Dennis Schröder on Instagram as the first step toward getting his former Hawks teammate to sign with the Celtics, according to Jay King of The Athletic. Horford asked for a phone call and then sold Schröder on the benefits of playing in Boston, telling him that his aggressive style would be a good fit and that he would have much more freedom than he did with the Lakers last season. Schröder said Horford told him, “You’re going to have a big year here because we know your value and we know how to put you in place to be successful.’”
  • Udoka will tinker with the starting lineup during preseason, but he plans to have a regular group of five when the season begins, tweets Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald. Udoka said he’s not a believer in “plug-in” starters.

Celtics Notes: Brown, Udoka, Schröder, Hernangomez

The Celtics dealt with lots of turmoil last season: injuries, a short turnaround from the Orlando bubble, and COVID-19 outbreaks affecting several players, including star Jayson Tatum. The team is hoping to turn the page entering training camp, and Jaylen Brown appears optimistic, particularly about new head coach Ime Udoka.

“I’m completely bought in,” Brown said of Udoka. “I’m looking forward to this season and being an extension of him on the court.” (Twitter link via Keith Smith of Spotrac).

President of basketball operations Brad Stevens, the former head coach, says that Brown has been cleared by the team’s doctors after recovering from wrist surgery, and will be a full participant in practice, per Jared Weiss of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Udoka participated in media day virtually through Zoom, instead of in person, because the first-year head coach is in the last day of quarantine after contracting a breakthrough case of COVID-19, per ESPN News Services. Udoka is fully vaccinated and asymptomatic, according to team spokesperson Christian Megliola. He’s expected to join the team tomorrow for the start of training camp.

There’s more from Boston:

  • Dennis Schröder mentioned yesterday that Tatum and Brown both called to recruit him to the Celtics, but they weren’t the only ones. He told reporters today that Stevens, Udoka, and former Hawks teammate Al Horford called him as well, adding, “I know Al Horford will have the locker room under control.” (Twitter link via Keith Smith of Spotrac).
  • Schröder also consulted with Thunder general manager Sam Presti prior to signing with Boston, and Presti endorsed the Celtics organization, per Smith (Twitter link).
  • Juan Hernangomez, who dislocated his left shoulder over the summer in an exhibition game prior to the Olympics, says the shoulder is 100 percent now, according to Jared Weiss of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Pacific Notes: Booker, Schröder, Lakers, Harkless, Kings

Suns star Devin Booker confirmed on a Twitch stream on Sunday that he’s currently dealing with a case of COVID-19, as Kellan Olson of 98.7 Arizona Sports relays (via Twitter). The team had announced over the weekend that Booker was in the NBA’s health and safety protocols and will miss at least part of training camp.

According to Olson, Booker said on Sunday’s stream that he tested positive about a week ago. He has experienced some symptoms – including losing his senses of taste and smell – but said he’s feeling good now and expects to be back soon.

Here’s more from around the Pacific:

  • Addressing the oft-repeated rumor that he could’ve signed a four-year, $84MM extension with the Lakers during the 2020/21 season, Dennis Schröder said today that he technically never had that contract offer in front of him to sign. That may be just a matter of semantics, since it sounds like there was a time when the Lakers were willing to put that offer on the table. However, Schröder said that he never felt like he fit in 100% in Los Angeles, adding that “money isn’t everything” and he still got a “nice deal” for him and his family (Twitter links via Keith Smith of Spotrac and Jared Weiss of The Athletic). Schröder signed a one-year, $5.9MM contract with the Celtics.
  • Kings forward Maurice Harkless said he didn’t explore other opportunities when he became a free agent, preferring to work out something quickly with Sacramento (Twitter link via James Ham of NBC Sports Bay Area). Harkless agreed to a two-year, $9MM deal with the team on the first night of free agency.
  • The Kings have a new jersey advertisement sponsor, announcing today in a press release that they’ve partner with Dialpad and will wear the company’s logo on their uniforms in 2021/22 and beyond.

Atlantic Notes: Schröder, Celtics, Raptors, Knicks

Celtics All-Star forwards Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are two major reasons why Dennis Schröder chose to sign with the Celtics in free agency, as Taylor Snow of relays (Twitter link).

Tatum and Brown are two of Schröder’s favorite players, and at 23 and 24 years old, respectively, the two young stars are only getting better. Boston could choose to start Schröder alongside Marcus Smart, Brown, Tatum and Robert Williams III this season.

“Jayson and Jaylen are two of my favorite players in today’s game,” Schroder explained. “Very competitive. They’re winners, two guys that will do whatever it takes to win the game. I think it’ll be a great fit and they are a big reason why I picked Boston.

“They both called me and showed a lot of interest, that was nice. I’m really looking forward to joining them soon and winning a lot of games together.”

There’s more from the Atlantic Division tonight:

Atlantic Notes: Celtics Lineup, Clark, Noel, Sixers

With Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Robert Williams and Marcus Smart seemingly locked into starting spots for the Celtics, Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston explores the possibilities for the fifth starter. The most likely candidates are Aaron Nesmith, Josh Richardson, Al Horford and Dennis Schröder — Forsberg takes a closer look at what each player could bring to the starting unit.

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Free agent Gary Clark worked out for the Celtics, Emiliano Carchia of Sportando tweets. Clark, a 6’6” forward, played 39 games in the league last season, including 35 with the Magic. He also played two games apiece for Denver and Philadelphia.
  • Knicks center Nerlens Noel has filed an amended complaint against super-agent Rich Paul, which includes an October 2017 letter from the legal counsel for Noel’s prior agent, Happy Walters, stating that the decision to reject the Mavericks’ $70MM offer “placed Noel at serious professional and financial risk,” Darren Heitner of SportsAgentBlog tweets. Noel sued Paul and Klutch Sports last month, claiming that he fired Walters in favor of Paul because Paul told him he could get a max contract. Paul also allegedly told Noel to turn down Dallas’ extension offer.
  • The Sixers have signed a deal with to be their new jersey patch partner, according to a team press release. According to Gina Mizell of the Philadelphia Inquirer, the multiyear deal is worth eight figures annually and is among the top five most lucrative jersey ad deals in the league.

Atlantic Notes: Watanabe, Gillespie, Schroder, Williams, Maxey

The Raptors have 12 players with guaranteed contracts and five others with non-guaranteed or partially guaranteed deals. Eric Koreen of The Athletic speculates on who might grab the remaining roster openings, with Yuta Watanabe and Freddie Gillespie most likely to nail down spots. That would leave Sam Dekker, Ishmail Wainright and Isaac Bonga in a battle for the final spot, unless Toronto chooses to carry 14 players on the regular roster.

We have more on the Atlantic Division:

  • Dennis Schroder cost himself serious money but passing on a four-year, $84MM extension offer from the Lakers but he’s taking a lighthearted approach to that mistake, Brianna Williams of ESPN relays. In an Instagram post, the Celtics guard — who settled for a one-year, $5.9MM contract — said he “fumbled the bag” and invited fans to insert their best joke about his bad free agent gamble.
  • Details on Robert Williams‘ extension with the Celtics were reported late last month and now Keith Smith provides more specifics on the incentives in the four-year deal (Twitter link). Williams will make $446,429 if he plays 69 games; an additional $223,215 if the team reaches the conference semifinals along with meeting the games criteria; $223,214 more if the Celtics make the Eastern Conference finals; and $446,429 if he’s named to the league’s All-Defense First Team, or $223,215 if he’s named to the All-Defense Second Team. Those incentives will increase by 8% per year after the deal goes into effect in 2022/23.
  • Would the Sixers benefit from Tyrese Maxey‘s offensive skills in the starting lineup? Kyle Neubeck of Philly Voice takes a closer look at whether playing Maxey with the other starters would make Philadelphia a better postseason team in the long run.

Lakers Notes: Rondo, Davis, Lineups, G League

While the Lakers have high hopes for guards Kendrick Nunn and Talen Horton-Tucker, both players are relatively young, so the decision to sign Rajon Rondo reflects the team’s desire to hedge its bets in the backcourt, writes Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report.

Los Angeles may not lean heavily on Rondo, who will turn 36 during the 2021/22 season, but he gives the team a proven backup at the point in case Nunn and Horton-Tucker struggle at all. Rondo is also more of a distributor than Nunn and Horton-Tucker, who are score-first guards, so he could be a better fit in certain lineups and situations.

Here’s more on the Lakers:

  • Within his article on the Rondo signing, Pincus cites a source who says Anthony Davis was frustrated at times last season with the looks he got in the post from Dennis Schröder compared to the ones he got from Rondo the year before. That may have been one factor in the Lakers’ decision to let Schröder walk in free agency.
  • Jovan Buha of The Athletic identifies five Lakers lineups he’s looking forward to seeing in 2021/22, including a switchable, center-less unit (LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, Kent Bazemore, Trevor Ariza, and Horton-Tucker) and one in which LeBron is surrounded by shooters (Malik Monk, Wayne Ellington, Carmelo Anthony, and Marc Gasol).
  • The South Bay Lakers – Los Angeles’ G League affiliate – officially announced Miles Simon as the team’s head coach for the 2021/22 season. Simon has spent the last four seasons as an assistant on the Lakers’ staff and coached the team’s Summer League squad in 2017 and 2018.

Celtics Notes: Roster, Two-Way Slot, Tax, Begarin

Speaking today to reporters, Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens suggested the team has completed its major offseason moves.

Stevens pointed out that Boston has 16 players on standard contracts (15 guaranteed salaries, plus Jabari Parker‘s non-guaranteed deal) and said he’s comfortable bringing this group to training camp, noting that any additional moves will likely be “tweaks around the edge” (Twitter links via Keith Smith of Spotrac).

The Celtics do still have one open two-way slot, and Stevens said the team is still considering how to fill it. There’s no rush to do so, since Boston could end up targeting a player who gets waived by another team this fall, according to Stevens (Twitter link via Smith).

Here’s more from the Celtics’ new president:

  • Discussing Boston’s key offseason additions, Stevens said the team likes Josh Richardson‘s toughness and ability to play multiple positions, and added that the Celtics were “very fortunate” to land Dennis Schröder and Enes Kanter for the taxpayer mid-level exception and the veteran’s minimum, respectively (all Twitter links via Smith).
  • Stevens has the green light to go into luxury-tax territory in 2021/22, which is why he didn’t want to trigger a hard cap this offseason by acquiring a player via sign-and-trade or using more than the taxpayer portion of the MLE, tweets Jared Weiss of The Athletic.
  • Stevens confirmed that second-round pick Juhann Begarin will remain overseas for at least the 2021/22 season (Twitter link via Weiss). Stevens added that the team will be monitoring Begarin and 2020 second-rounder Yam Madar “quite a bit” in Europe this year (Twitter link via Smith).

Celtics Sign Dennis Schröder To One-Year Deal

AUGUST 13: The Celtics have officially signed Schroder, according to a team press release.

“We are really excited to welcome Dennis and his family to Boston,” president of basketball operations Brad Stevens said in a statement. “Dennis is a high-level player and competitor, who has consistently impacted winning with his play on both ends of the court.” 

AUGUST 10: The Celtics and free agent point guard Dennis Schröder are in agreement on a one-year contract, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link). According to Wojnarowski (via Twitter), the deal will be worth the $5.89MM taxpayer mid-level exception.

Schröder has officially confirmed in an Instagram story that he’s joining the Celtics.

“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!” Schröder wrote. “I’m going out there every night and leaving it all on the floor for the city!! Who’s ready?!”

We first heard last week that the Celtics and Schröder were engaged in contract discussions, with a report earlier today indicating the team had offered him a one-year, $5.9MM deal.

Today’s report suggested Schröder was seeking a second-year player option and the full non-taxpayer mid-level exception (worth about $9.5MM), but the C’s wanted to maintain cap flexibility in 2022 and avoid hard-capping themselves this season. It appears Schröder relented.

Schröder had an up-and-down season for the Lakers in 2020/21 after being acquired from the Thunder last fall. His scoring average dipped to 15.4 PPG, his lowest mark since 2015/16, and his shooting numbers (.437 FG%, .335 3PT%) also fell off a little following a career year in Oklahoma City.

The 27-year-old struggled in the Lakers’ first-round playoff loss to Phoenix, putting up just 14.3 PPG and 2.8 APG on .400/.308/.846 shooting in six games (32.7 MPG), though he was coming off a case of COVID-19 near the end of the regular season.

Despite Schröder’s inconsistent play in Los Angeles, the extent to which his market collapsed is still surprising. He reportedly turned down a four-year extension offer worth in excess of $80MM during the season. When the Lakers agreed to trade for Russell Westbrook, it closed one door for Schröder, and the teams seeking a point guard in free agency didn’t have the German atop their lists of targets.

As a result, the Celtics – who traded away starting point guard Kemba Walker in June – will get a bargain for the 2021/22 season, while Schröder will look to rebuild his value in Boston before re-entering the free agent market in 2022.

As Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston notes (via Twitter), if the Celtics remain committed to not using more than the taxpayer portion of their mid-level exception, they’ll be limited to one- or two-year minimum-salary deals for any other signings, including draft-and-stash prospect Yam Madar.

Atlantic Notes: Griffin, Sixers, Knicks, Schröder

Despite looking rejuvenated in Brooklyn down the stretch of the 2020/21 season, veteran forward Blake Griffin accepted another minimum-salary contract to return to the Nets, and said on Thursday that the decision was a “no-brainer,” as Brian Lewis of The New York Post relays.

“We as a team felt like we obviously didn’t accomplish what we wanted,” Griffin said. “You can say injuries, but every team had injuries. So we feel like there’s definitely unfinished business. There’s something bigger that we want to achieve, and I still want to be a part of that.”

Not all of the Nets’ key free agents returned – Jeff Green left for Denver – but Griffin wasn’t the only player to re-sign a team-friendly deal and make reference to unfinished business after falling short of a championship in 2021. Bruce Brown, who accepted his one-year, $4.7MM qualifying offer from Brooklyn, told GM Sean Marks that he felt “the job wasn’t done.”

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • Rich Hofmann of The Athletic takes a look at the Sixers‘ offseason, observing that the team has mostly taken a “run it back” approach so far, with Andre Drummond and Georges Niang filling the Dwight Howard and Mike Scott roles. Of course, the possibility of a Ben Simmons trade still looms large, but it’s unclear what such a deal might look like if the 76ers don’t get a chance to make a run at Damian Lillard.
  • As Ian Begley of writes, as a result of all the multiyear contract commitments the Knicks made this offseason, the summer of 2022 projects to be the first offseason in a few years that the team won’t have maximum-salary cap space.
  • Knicks forward Obi Toppin, a native New Yorker like Kemba Walker, grew up idolizing the point guard and can’t wait to play alongside him in 2021/22, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. “Having Kemba come to the team is amazing,” Toppin said. “Great player. I’ve watched him as long as he’s been playing since he left UConn. Having an opportunity to play with him is going to be amazing.”
  • Dennis Schröder may not be a perfect on-court fit for the Celtics, but he’ll bring an element of speed and an ability to get to the rim that the team’s other point guards don’t have, and it’s hard to argue with the value of a one-year, $5.9MM deal, says Jay King of The Athletic.