Pistons Rumors: Dennis Schroder, Knicks FA Mitchell Robinson Eyed by Detroit

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVJune 20, 2022

PORTLAND, OREGON - MARCH 26: Dennis Schroder #17 of the Houston Rockets gestures during the fourth quarter against the Portland Trail Blazers at the Moda Center on March 26, 2022 in Portland, Oregon. The Houston Rockets won 115-98. 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. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
Alika Jenner/Getty Images

The Detroit Pistons have "been weighing the free-agent pursuit of Dennis Schroder" and have been "frequently linked" to New York Knicks free-agent center Mitchell Robinson, according to NBA writer Marc Stein.

The Pistons are expected to have about $27.4 million in cap space this summer, per Spotrac, giving them room to be players in free agency as they build around young star Cade Cunningham.

Schroder likely will depart the Houston Rockets in free agency this summer, with The Athletic's Kelly Iko reporting on Monday that the veteran point guard is "liked in Houston, but he's expected to have a new home for the 2022-23 season."

That largely comes down to the team's "real need to clear minutes for the roster’s developing young talent" at the guard position, including Jalen Green, Daishen Nix, Kevin Porter Jr. and Josh Christopher.

Schroder would make sense for Detroit for two major reasons:

  • He'll likely come cheaper than the top point guard on the market, Jalen Brunson. 
  • He's more of a combo guard than a pure point guard, which would make him a nice fit next to Cunningham's playmaking ability. 

The 28-year-old had a solid if unspectacular 2021-22 season between the Boston Celtics and Houston Rockets, averaging 13.5 points and 4.6 assists across 64 games while shooting 43.1 percent from the field and 34.4 percent from three.

Much of his value comes down to whether he's shooting well from beyond the arc. In his best season during the 2019-20 campaign with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Schroder shot 38.5 percent from three to go along with 18.9 points and four assists per game, coming off the bench as the third guard in an excellent backcourt rotation that also included Chris Paul and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

But he went to the Los Angeles Lakers in a trade after that season, saw his points (15.4 PPG) and perimeter shooting (33.5 percent from three) take a dip alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis and famously turned down a four-year, $84 million extension with the team.

That turned out to be an all-time financial gaffe, as Schroder signed a one-year, $5.9 million deal with the Celtics last year and is extremely unlikely to sign a deal with a $21 million average annual salary like the one the Lakers offered.

But the Pistons could offer him a solid role on a team currently made up of a mix of intriguing young players (Cunningham, Saddiq Bey, Isaiah Stewart, Killian Hayes) and solid veterans (Jerami Grant, Kelly Olynyk).

Center depth is a major need, however, making Robinson a logical fit. The Knicks big man is just 24 years old, putting him on a similar timeline to the team's younger players, and would address a need for rim protection after averaging two blocks per game in his four-year career.

He and Stewart would give Detroit a nice one-two punch at the position.