Boston Celtics: 3 players with the most to prove during the 2021-22 season

Dennis Schroder #17 of the Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
Dennis Schroder #17 of the Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /
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Los Angeles Lakers guard Dennis Schroder (17) Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 1: Dennis Schroder

The reason Smart isn’t number one of this list is because there probably isn’t a player with more to prove in the NBA this season than Dennis Schroder. In case you missed it, Schroder turned down a four year, $84 million extension from the Los Angeles Lakers last season in hopes of getting a larger deal in free agency. Schroder was reportedly looking for as much as $120 million on his new deal, which the Lakers opted not shell out on the controversial point guard.

Schroder’s gambit ended up backfiring miserably, and he found himself in Boston on a one year deal worth $5 million. So yes, Schroder inadvertently walking away from $80 million seems like a pretty good reason to label him as the Celtics player with the most to prove this season.

If all goes well for Schroder, he will have a chance to at least recoup some of those lost earnings in free agency next offseason. The explosive guard will most likely start the season as one of the first guys off the bench, and his ability to get to the paint should help open up the Celtics offense.

It’s not that Schroder isn’t a good player, but his character concerns most likely drove teams away. In fairness, he’s really not worth much more than the Lakers were offering, and his stubbornness is a big reason he finds himself without a long term deal now. Schroder has made questionable comments to the media regularly, picks fights with opponents fairly often, and makes bewildering plays that make you wonder how he made it into the NBA in the first place.

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But when Schroder is locked in, he’s a dangerous player. If he can hone in on his three point shooting a bit more this season, he has a good shot at getting a big deal next summer. But Schroder is going to have to prove he is worth that money this season in Boston. If he ends up doing that, that probably means the Boston Celtics had a good season, so here’s hoping Schroder gets a nice deal next offseason.