Philadelphia 76ers: Please don’t sign-and-trade for Dennis Schroder

(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /

As you may or may not have heard, the Philadelphia 76ers are probably going to lose Dwight Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers in free agency.

On paper, this isn’t a particularly crushing blow. Even Daryl Morey has admitted that the Sixers need to secure a reserve five who can defend multiple situations and hit open 3 pointers in his post-draft media availability,  neither of which is Howard’s strong suit, but it does leave the team with a hole in their frontcourt that needs to be addressed moving forward.

But I don’t want to talk about that, not right now anyway.

No, what I really want to talk about is another old friend the Los Angeles Lakers may try to reunite with in free agency, Danny Green, and how they might try to secure his services moving forward, namely a sign and trade with Howard’s former team.

Could such a deal come together if the Lakers are unable to secure a Buddy Hield-esque difference-maker via trade? Yes, yes it could, but for such a deal to go down, the Sixers would have to take something back to make the money work, as neither team has salary cap space to spare.

So I plead to the best of my ability, Philadelphia 76ers: Please don’t sign-and-trade Danny Green for Dennis Schroder.

The Philadelphia 76ers can’t straddle themselves with a poor contract moving forward.

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Okay, so before you ask, allow me to break this hypothetical deal down for you.

Danny Green is probably going to ask for a contract with an AAV in the $15 million range come the start of free agency. The only way the Lakers could match that money in a sign-and-trade would be to ship out one of their impending free agents, either Talen Horton-Tucker or Dennis Schroder, on a deal in the same ballpark moving forward.

Still confused? You can read more about restricted free agency and sign-and-trades here if you’re so inclined.

Would the Lakers be willing to ship out THT, either on a long-term deal or at his qualifying offer of $1.87 million? Potentially. Some have suggested that Horton-Tucker could command a max contract on the open market, but it’s hard to find either a team or a logical justification for such a claim. No, to pay the former Iowa State Cyclone Danny Green money after two seasons where he’s never averaged more than nine points per game and has been a severely below-average shooter from beyond the arc is just bad business.

Do you know what else would be bad business? Giving $45-60 million to Schroder to either serve as a backup to Ben Simmons or *gasp* to serve as a lead guard in his absence.

Now granted, there are Schroder truthers the league over who would dispute this claim. We are only one season removed from the German point guard coming second in Sixth Man of the Year voting behind former Doc Rivers ward Montrezl Harrell, and he has at times looked like a legit top-30 NBA point guard, but in 2020-21? Yeah, not so much.

Starting all 61 games he appeared in for the Lakers last season, Schroder averaged the fewest points of his career since his second to last season in Atlanta; a season where he only averaged 20.3 minutes of action per game. He averaged brutal shooting percentages from both beyond the arc and from the field and just generally struggled to run the point while on the court with one of the best non-point lead guards in NBA history.

I know Schroder was notoriously a favorite of Sam Hinkie, who wanted to offer him a max contract in 2017, but he simply doesn’t have the same ceiling now that he had then. For better or worse, Schroder is what he is, and that’s not a great fit next to Joel Embiid.

Besides being a sub-par shooter from pretty much everywhere on the court, a shortcoming of his game that wasn’t overshadowed by his average passing or lackluster defense, Schroder only ranked in the 55th percentile on the pick-and-roll, sandwiched between D’Angelo Russell and Austin Rivers. Despite running the play 40.3 percent of the time, Schroder scored on less than half of his attempts (43.5 percent) and generated an “and 1” on only 1.4 percent of his drives.

When comparing those numbers to the two biggest targets fans have been clamoring for all offseason long, Damion Lillard and Bradley Beal, there really isn’t much of a comparison, which shouldn’t be too surprising.

Lillard/Beal would fetch a “Ben Simmons plus a Godfather offer”- sort of deal, while we’re talking about whether a Green-for-Schroder deal makes sense for both parties, one summer after the former was traded alongside with a first-round pick to the OKC Thunder for the latter.

Boy, in the NBA, value changes in a hurry.

Next. Dwight Howard? Back on the Lakers? Good luck!. dark

So no, while the idea of securing the next diamond in the rough James Harden-style player is enticing, Dennis Schroder just isn’t that guy. He’s a 27-year-old middle-of-the-road point guard who ranks 20-40th league-wide depending on the season and probably won’t turn into a knock-down shooter anytime soon. While such a player could be valuable to the Philadelphia 76ers, especially if they lose Tyrese Maxey via trade, getting strutted with a new, long-term contract feels a whole lot more like signing Al Hofrod than trading Josh Richarson for Seth Curry. Considering the asking price to get rid of Horford included a first-round pick, maybe don’t do that deal. Why get hard-capped for a player like that?