Celtics

CJ McCollum shared why Celtics guard Dennis Schroder will likely be particularly motivated this year

"He knows there’s a lot at stake for this season."

Dennis Schroder #17 of the Los Angeles Lakers passes as he drives to the basket. Harry How/Getty Images

When Dennis Schroder turned down a four-year, $84 million contract extension from the Los Angeles Lakers in March, the gamble ended up backfiring big-time from a monetary standpoint.

Schroder didn’t get any other bites that were close to that amount of money, and he ended up signing a one-year, $5.9 million deal with the Celtics.

The consensus is that this is a pivotal season for the 27-year-old point guard as he tries to firmly establish himself as one of the NBA’s better two-way guards.

Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum, speaking on his “Pull Up with CJ McCollum” podcast, said it’s an ideal time for Schroder to show what he’s capable of in Boston. He said Schroder should have a prime opportunity to play alongside strong players and potentially earn back some of that money going forward.

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“He knows there’s a lot at stake for this season,” McCollum said on the podcast. “I think his approach, his mindset, his mentality is going to be different going into this year.”

Schroder, who averaged 15.4 points and 5.8 assists for the Lakers last year, could come off the bench as a sixth man, like he did in Oklahoma City. He could also start alongside Marcus Smart or alongside Josh Richardson — a decision first-year head coach Ime Udoka will make in the coming months.

McCollum likened the situation to that of John Collins on the Atlanta Hawks, albeit on a different scale. Collins declined Atlanta’s $90 million extension last year, had a huge season, then agreed to a five-year, $125 million contract with the Hawks this offseason.

McCollum believes something similar may happen for Schroder.

“He’s got a lot to prove,” McCollum said. “Now he’s probably angry. He’s probably a little frustrated at the situation but also motivated.”

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