NBA Rumors: Latest Buzz on Dennis Schroder's Role, Lauri Markkanen, More

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IIAugust 11, 2021

NBA Rumors: Latest Buzz on Dennis Schroder's Role, Lauri Markkanen, More

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    John Raoux/Associated Press

    Even though the NBA news and transactions aren't coming as rapidly as they were earlier in the month, there are still notable moves taking place. For example, Dennis Schroder agreed to a one-year deal with the Boston Celtics on Tuesday, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

    Many of the top players on the free-agent market have now signed with teams, but there are still teams with holes that will need plugging. And that will happen throughout the next two months in the leadup to the 2021-22 season.

    Here's some of the latest buzz from around the NBA.

Schroder Not Expecting to Automatically Start in Boston?

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    Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

    With Kemba Walker no longer on the team, the Celtics' top point guard appears to be Schroder, who they're reportedly signing with their $5.9 million mid-level exception, per Wojnarowski. So will Schroder immediately have a starting role? It seems he may not be worried about that.

    According to Keith Smith of Spotrac, Schroder signed with Boston with "no expectation of a starting role." New Celtics head coach Ime Udoka will be making those types of decisions without president of basketball operations Brad Stevens or anybody else giving input, per Smith, and Udoka will be evaluating the options.

    It's still hard to imagine Schroder not starting in Boston, and if he doesn't, he should still have a substantial role. The 27-year-old started 61 games for the Los Angeles Lakers last season, averaging 15.4 points and 5.8 assists per contest.

    However, after turning down a reported four-year, $84 million extension from the Lakers and then not getting a ton of early free-agent offers, Schroder had been in a "state of shock," according to Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald. Now, Schroder is finally off the market and can begin looking forward.

Multiple Teams Have Shown Interest in Markkanen

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    Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

    Although Lauri Markkanen is a restricted free agent, there's a decent chance he won't be returning to the Chicago Bulls for the 2021-22 season. And there seems to be plenty of teams that are interested in acquiring the 24-year-old forward.

    According to Bleacher Report's Jake Fischer, the Dallas Mavericks, New Orleans Pelicans, Boston Celtics and Minnesota Timberwolves have "all shown interest" in signing Markkanen to a deal worth about $15 million per year. Meanwhile, the Bulls are looking to land a first-round draft pick in return for facilitating the deal, per Fischer.

    That isn't Chicago's only requisite for working out a deal for Markkanen, though.

    "Additionally, Chicago brass are requiring Markkanen's new team to find a third trade partner to take on the outgoing salary needed to create space for Markkanen's contract," Fischer wrote.

    So while it would take a bit of work to acquire Markkanen, it may be more than worth it for a team to make it happen. He's been a solid player over four NBA seasons, and he's coming off a year in which he shot a career-best 48 percent from the field.

Several Teams Had Interest in DeRozan This Offseason

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    Eric Gay/Associated Press

    After spending the past three seasons with the San Antonio Spurs, DeMar DeRozan is on his way to Chicago. The 32-year-old guard went to the Bulls via a sign-and-trade agreement, and he'll now begin another chapter of his career.

    However, DeRozan didn't have to go to Chicago if he didn't want to. According to Fischer, numerous teams had shown interest in DeRozan this offseason, including the Philadelphia 76ers, Portland Trail Blazers, Phoenix Suns, Golden State Warriors, Boston Celtics and New York Knicks.

    Of those teams, it seems that the Warriors may have been one of the less likely landing spots for DeRozan.

    "For Golden State, acquiring DeRozan would have necessitated a complicated salary-matching sign-and-trade with the Spurs that would have sent out Kelly Oubre. But that framework never gained much traction, sources said," Fischer wrote.

    Instead, DeRozan is joining the Bulls, who have had a busy offseason in which they've also brought in point guards Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso. So things could be turning around in Chicago soon enough.