When the Houston Rockets obtained Dennis Schroder at this past February’s trade deadline in the deal for Daniel Theis, there were more than a few groans from H-town faithful. With Kevin Porter Jr. and Jalen Green demanding playing time for their development, many thought that the last thing the Rockets needed was another guard.
However, Schroder’s presence was more profound than anticipated, as his veteran’s acumen became a stabilizing force for a young group still learning the ropes.
Schroder finished the season averaging 10.9 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 5.9 assists per contest over 15 games, and though his shooting percentages were low — 39.3 percent from the field and 32.8 percent from deep — it was his ability to help command the offense that made the biggest mark since his arrival.
His best game for the Rockets came in a February 16 contest against the Phoenix Suns in which Schroder got the start for KPJ, who was out with an illness, and almost led Houston to an upset over the top-seeded team in the west. Christian Wood also missed the game, but Schroder went for 23 points, 6 rebounds, and 9 assists in a 124-121 Houston defeat.
Moving forward, Schroder’s $5.9 million contract is up, making him an unrestricted free agent this summer. That means the Rockets will need to decide if the veteran spark he brought to the team is worth Houston attempting a re-up. The 28-year-old likely still has some good basketball left in him.
But the Rockets do have a young backup point guard that they like a lot in Daishen Nix, and he was converted to a regular deal from a two-way right after the trade deadline and is under contract until the 2024-2025 season. In addition, Houston has two first-round draft picks coming up in this year’s draft, and while the prevailing sentiment is that the Rockets are likely to add some size either on the wing or in the front court, adding another guard isn’t entirely out of the question.
My best guess is that Schroder’s 15 games in H-town will be his only ones, and he moves on elsewhere, possibly in a similar role for a growing squad or a back bench piece on a contender. But stranger things have happened, especially if the Rockets go all size in the draft and they feel that Nix needs another year of seasoning in the G-League.