A lot has been made of the trade that sent point guard Dennis Schroder to the Oklahoma City Thunder. In the three team team involving the Thunder, the Atlanta Hawks and the Philadelphia 76ers, Oklahoma City gave away Carmelo Anthony, in return they received Schroder and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot.
Acquiring a premier point guard from the eastern conference to backup Russell Westbrook, theoretically, can only bring positives. Indeed, Schroder averaged 19.4 points per game and 6.2 assist per game while starting in Atlanta. So, with a player who can score and pass like that off the bench, what could possibly be the downsides of adding Schroder.
Schroder struggles to shoot from three
In today’s NBA, being able to shoot and stretch the floor is the key to being successful. Last season, Schroder shot his worst percentage from behind the arc at a woeful 29% from three. Not only could his poor shooting hinder his scoring ability, but also determines the type of lineups he could be involved with off the bench.
Coach Billy Donovan will most likely feature a lineup with Westbrook at point guard and Schroder off the ball at some point during a game. Meaning, not only the starting lineup, but also a bench unit could have a unreliable shooting backcourt.
We’ve seen how teams play the Thunder defensively when they don’t fear someone’s outside shooting ability. They clog the lanes and dare Westbrook to attack, which will hurt both Westbrook’s and Schroder’s ability drive to the rim. Unless Schroder’s shooting can improve this season, these problems will not go away.
Schroder may not be satisfied with his role on the team
Since Atlanta started their rebuilding process, Schroder had been “the man” for the Hawks. Coming to another team and accepting a backup role might not satisfy Schroder, even as his chance to be a leader in Atlanta fizzled. Even so, it is not a reach to think Schroder might think he’s better than shooting guard Andre Roberson or any of the other Thunder backups who have played a role in OKC’s success.
Schroder is better player than Roberson on the offensive side of the ball. That’s enough for Schroder to believe he should have a more prominent over Roberson. In fact, there is precedent — Schroder had a situation like this back in 2015 with the Hawks when he wanted to start over the starting point guard at the time Jeff Teague.
Adding Schroder unquestionably brings a lot of positives to an Oklahoma City team that needed to add bench depth. In addition, Schroder is an upgrade to the backup point guard position over Raymond Felton. However, there are always some negatives that comes with the positives. If the Thunder hit some rough patches during the season like they did last year, these drawbacks to acquiring Schroder could surface.
Just would like to take the time to introduce myself to the fans of Loud City. My name is Nile McNair and I am ecstatic to be apart of this site. I would also shoutout my hometown of Baltimore, Maryland and the college I’m currently attending VCU.
Will Schroder’s positives outweigh his negatives?
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