Oklahoma City Thunder: 3 potential landing spots for Dennis Schroder

Oklahoma City Thunder Dennis Schroder (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Oklahoma City Thunder Dennis Schroder (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder guard Dennis Schroder (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

If the Oklahoma City Thunder want to rebuild, here are three landing spots for Dennis Schroder

Dennis Schroder was drafted by the Atlanta Hawks in 2013 out of Braunschweig, Germany. A few seasons later, the team decides to retool, move on from its playoff staples of Jeff Teague and Al Horford and the young guard is thrust into a starting spot in the NBA.

In his first season as a starter, he averaged around 18 points and 6.3 assists and lead his team to the playoffs where they would lose in six to the Washington Wizards. Dennis himself was fine in the playoffs but nothing special; he wasn’t one of the league’s elite guards.

Fast forward a bit more, the Hawks decide to fully rebuild (eventually finding their point guard of the future in Trae Young) and Schroder is sent to the Oklahoma City Thunder in a three-team deal that saw OKC move off of Carmelo Anthony.

He spends his time in OKC backing up Russell Westbrook in the Russ MVP and then Russ/Paul George years that become known for not getting anything done in the postseason (I apologize Thunder fans; your future looks bright so it’s not all bad).

From there, OKC kind of disintegrates with PG demanding a trade to play in Los Angeles with Kawhi, Westbrook essentially flipped for Chris Paul and the team is left with a lot of future assets and a team of leftovers that nobody expected anything out of.

They made the playoffs, pushed the Houston Rockets to seven games and it was a season played entirely on house money.

One of the numerous bright spots for OKC was their closing lineup that featured three point guards in Dennis, CP3, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. With all three on the court, the team was +26.5 per 100 possessions according to basketball-reference.com, making it one of the more effective in the league.

It wasn’t the most defensively sound combination when watching (Steven Adams was asked to do a lot when he shared the court with the trio) but they had a flamethrower that was going to outscore opponents, not stop them.

The reason I bring this up is that Dennis found himself a role on this team as an effective sixth man. Not only was he part of their best, closing lineup, but he checked in and did everything you’d want out of a smaller, zippy guard: he put the pedal to the metal, pushed the team’s pace up (84th percentile in the frequency of transition plays per Cleaning the Glass) and helped the Thunder deliver 48 minutes of competent play at the lead guard position.

But OKC wasn’t supposed to be in the playoffs this season, they have one of the deepest stockpiles of future draft picks and it seems like a weekly occurrence to hear Chris Paul mocked to other teams and jerseys photoshopped onto him.

Royce Young said on ESPN’s The Hoop Collective Podcast that if OKC is to trade CP3, they’ll hit the reset button:

"“That’s when I think they’ll start tearing down some of the pieces. Schroder will go. Adams might go. And they’ll start to sort of begin their first ever rebuild since they moved to Oklahoma City.”"

If Dennis is on the move, is there a playoff or title contender out there that could use a capable backup point guard?