5 key questions facing the OKC Thunder at trade deadline

Danilo Gallinari, head coach Billy Donovan, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Dennis Schroder, and Steven Adams of the OKC Thunder huddle vs 76ers (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Danilo Gallinari, head coach Billy Donovan, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Dennis Schroder, and Steven Adams of the OKC Thunder huddle vs 76ers (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder
JANUARY 22: Dennis Schroder #17 of the OKC Thunder smiles during the game (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Is Dennis Schroder’s trade value at its apex?

Although the point guard who most would expect the OKC Thunder to be shopping is Chris Paul there is an argument the player Sam Presti should be looking to move instead is Dennis Schroder.

Loyal TI readers are well aware of the extent of the German’s growth this year. Schroder has always been a talented guard but often would get caught up in his own needs instead of what the team needed.

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That resulted in forced shots, lack of playmaking or assists and stimied the reserve unit from reaching it’s potential. This season all of those factors are improved. Schroder isn’t forcing shots (or at least far less frequently), he’s making better decisions, his assists are up and the bench has taken a step.

Although credit lies with Schroder for the improvements he’s taken it sure seems like Chris Paul could be cited as the main reason behind the changes. CP3’s leadership and influence are obvious. Watch the team when the trio of point guards on the court and it’s a common sight for Schroder to search for Paul either to pass or looking for direction on what the team should do within each playset.

It might even be fair to state Schroder is gaining as much value from Paul as Gilgeous-Alexander.

There are a number of questions to consider when considering Dennis Schroder…

  • Could this be the pinnacle of Schroder’s ceiling?
  • Is his trade value at its highest ever?
  • Moreover, where does Dennis Schroder fit in the plans for the Thunder future?

Schroder has put himself in a position to win the Sixth Man of the Year award this season. DS is demonstrating the ability to run the team, work in conjunction with others and either take over in the clutch or play decoy for others to excel.

Per Game Table
2013-14 ATL 13.1 3.8 .383 0.9 .238 3.0 .425 .410 0.9 .674 1.2 1.9 0.3 3.7
2014-15 ATL 19.7 8.6 .427 1.9 .351 6.7 .449 .466 2.3 .827 2.1 4.1 0.6 10.0
2015-16 ATL 20.3 9.8 .421 3.0 .322 6.8 .465 .471 2.3 .791 2.6 4.4 0.9 11.0
2016-17 ATL 31.5 15.4 .451 3.7 .340 11.6 .487 .493 3.2 .855 3.1 6.3 0.9 17.9
2017-18 ATL 31.0 17.1 .436 3.9 .290 13.2 .480 .469 4.0 .849 3.1 6.2 1.1 19.4
2018-19 OKC 29.3 14.0 .414 4.6 .341 9.4 .450 .470 2.9 .819 3.6 4.1 0.8 15.5
2019-20 OKC 31.1 15.1 .472 5.4 .388 9.8 .519 .541 3.3 .838 3.9 4.1 0.7 19.1
Career 25.4 12.2 .435 3.4 .336 8.8 .473 .481 2.7 .827 2.8 4.6 0.8 14.0

Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/2/2020.

For as much as the three point guard system is working, particularly in clutch time, if Sam Presti could fulfill a need at a different position he has to consider it. Especially now since the Thunder has CP3 and SGA plus the emergence of Luguentz Dort has changed everything.

On the other hand, as the Ringer’s Jonathan Tjarks points out this three point guard line up isn’t just feasting they’re devouring everyone in their path:

"Best of all, they have barely used their best five-man lineup, which pairs their three point guards with a stretch 4 (Gallinari) and a 5 who can anchor their defense (Steven Adams). That group has a net rating of plus-31.4 in 117 minutes, which is 10.5 points higher than any other lineup in the NBA that has logged at least 100 minutes this season."

With so much guard depth if Presti could add some frontcourt or wing depth Presti has to consider that option. Especially since Schroder may never have greater value than he currently does.

To that end, watch in the coming days for a post featuring potential landing spots and trades the Thunder should consider for Dennis Schroder.