Cavaliers Trade Rumors: Celtics' Dennis Schroder Viewed as Target Ahead of Deadline

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 27, 2022

WASHINGTON, DC -  JANUARY 23: Dennis Schroder #71 of the Boston Celtics prepares to shoot a free throw during the game against the Washington Wizards on January 23, 2022 at Capital One Arena in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images)
Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images

The Cleveland Cavaliers might have eyes for Boston Celtics veteran point guard Dennis Schroder ahead of the Feb. 10 NBA trade deadline.

"Today they were granted a $9 million disabled-player exception by the league for the Ricky Rubio season-ending ACL. They can use that to trade for a player with one year left on his contract," ESPN's Brian Windhorst said Thursday on NBA Today (5:38 mark). "League executives believe a main target for that will be Dennis Schroder, who fits into that trade exception. Such a trade would potentially take the Celtics below the luxury tax and he could help [the Cavs] on the perimeter."

Windhorst added that another potential target could be Houston Rockets guard Eric Gordon.

At 30-19, the Cavaliers currently sit third in the Eastern Conference standings and look primed to make a serious playoff push this season behind young stars Evan Mobley, Darius Garland and Jarrett Allen. 

But the Cavs need reinforcements on the perimeter, with Rubio out for the season and Collin Sexton (meniscus tear) out for the foreseeable future. 

The latter is hoping to make a return in time for the playoffs. 

"When I'm feeling 100 percent and when my body tells me I'm ready," Sexton told Mark Inabinett of Alabama.com on Tuesday about his potential timetable for a return. "When my body tells me I'm at a good place and a good time, that's when I'm going to give it a go. ... When we make the postseason, we will see. Definitely, we'll see."

The Cavaliers likely will operate under the assumption that Sexton won't be able to return until next season, however. That makes a player like Schroder a logical target. 

While the Celtics (25-24, eighth in the East) find themselves in a fight themselves for a postseason berth, Schroder is a player who could become available. The veteran point guard is under contract for just one season, and the Celtics already have $141.7 million on the books for next season on the active roster cap, per Spotrac

That makes it highly unlikely the Celtics will have any cap space to match the potential offers Schroder will receive as a free agent. Trading him before the deadline, however, would allow the Celtics to get assets in return rather than losing him for nothing come the summer. 

And the Celtics would still have Marcus Smart and Payton Pritchard to handle the point. 

The 28-year-old Schroder is having a solid season for the Celtics, averaging 15.4 points and 4.6 assists in 31.1 minutes per game while shooting 44.1 percent from the field and 35.7 percent from three. At his current salary ($5.9 million), he's the type of player who should receive a ton of interest from prospective suitors.

The Cavs would be a logical fit in that regard, with their own first-round pick and two second-round selections to dangle in a deal. Making a run at Schroder makes a lot of sense for Cleveland.