The Whiteboard: Who is going to want Dennis Schroder now?
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A few more big names — Kemba Walker and John Collins — have been taken off the NBA free agency this morning. But Dennis Schroder is still hanging out there and his prospects are looking increasingly rough.
Does any team want Dennis Schroder?
The Lakers’ acquisition of Dennis Schroder was treated with much fanfare last offseason. He was a young guard coming off a strong season and the assumption was that he was on the upswing, a great addition to the Lakers’ championship-chasing core. Things didn’t exactly work out.
Schroder never really lived up to expectations and reportedly turned down a four-year, $84 million extension offer from the Lakers during the season. In retrospect, that seems like a blessing for the Lakers. By the end of the season, they’d had enough and made that clear by immediately maneuvering to trade for Russell Westbrook. Schroder, on the other hand, is having a hard time finding anything close to that deal he was offered by the Lakers, one that he presumably thought was a low-ball offer. And Lakers’ fans are loving the schadenfreude.
The Knicks weren’t interested in paying him $25 million but reportedly at least explored acquiring him if the price could come down. New York’s Kemba Walker signing shuts the door on that pursuit.
His final season in Oklahoma City, Schroder made 38.5 percent of his 325 3-point attempts. His second-highest 3-point percentage for a season is 34.1 percent in 2018-19 and for the rest of his career without that one outlier season, he’s shot 32.6 percent from beyond the arc. That 2019-20 season in Oklahoma City was also the only one in his career in which he finished with a true shooting percentage above the league average.
Those 3-point percentages are part of a larger theme of inefficiency, one that gets even more troubling as you go more granular. Over the past three seasons, more than three-quarters of his pull-up jumpers have been long 2s and his highest effective field goal percentage on all pull-ups over that stretch is 43.5. He shot under 50 percent on drives last season (as he has in every season of his career) with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.5. When he was on the floor without LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the Lakers were outscored by 2.8 points per 100 possessions and scored at a rate of 108.8 points per 100 possessions, a mark that would have ranked 26th in the league across the entire season.
He rates as a positive defender but there’s no real evidence that he’s viable as a high-level secondary or even tertiary offensive. He leveraged one outlier season in Oklahoma City into a much higher profile but this year he regressed right back to the player he’d been for the rest of his career. And as one final data point, in that one outlier season with the Thunder, he played roughly 50 percent of his minutes with Chris Paul and his true shooting percentage in those minutes (60.4) was stupid high compared to when he was on the floor without Paul (55.0).
At this point, it’s obvious Schroder isn’t going to get anything remotely close to the deal he wants. But it might be time to just focus on finding a team willing to give him a roster spot at all.
More NBA free agency schadenfreude!
One of the fun things about NBA free agency is it’s an artificial deadline, pausing a team’s progression for a snapshot. And that snapshot can be connected to a series of previous moves to create a gross impression of mismanagement. If you want to feel better about your own team, check out these summaries of what some others have put together:
“They gave up two FRP’s to not get Kyle Lowry… If you zoom out, they traded a first-round pick and Lonzo Ball for Devonte’ Graham, Tomas Satoransky and Garrett Temple. It’s hard to look at this series of events and feel good about the Pelicans.” — Zach Lowe
“The Celtics essentially traded a 1st round pick, two 2nd round picks, and took on Al Horford’s contract for Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier to walk to the Knicks for cap space” — Jeremy Cohen
“LeBron James Carmelo Anthony Dwight Howard Russell Westbrook Marc Gasol Anthony Davis Imagine that squad in 2013.” — The Hoop Central
“OKC loving that dead cap hit. Gotta spend to the minimum team salary and this way there’s no actual players on the team to win games. Just draft picks and vibes.” — Daniel Hackett
The Los Angeles Lakers have put together quite an old team of veterans and former LeBron James teammates. Here are three more they could add.
Great stuff from Bria Felicien on Lusia Harris, a forgotten pioneer of women’s basketball.