Mid-Season Grade: A+
Reader Grade: A (91% of votes)
Once a lightning rod for criticism and debates over his relative value for–or drain on–the Thunder, Dennis Schröder has become one of the most obvious boons for the Thunder this season. He’s been a key cog for the three-point-guard lineups that OKC blitzed the league with, a stunningly elite on/off factor for the team, and all but locked up the Sixth Man of the Year Award, as Logan Meyer recently wrote:
“Using his unusually long wingspan for a player his size, blazing speed, and everlasting energy, Schröder has been positively tremendous this season. He has become consistent with his effort and play, delivering every single night, showing the heart and hustle of a true warrior. He’s one of the few players in the league to full court press all night, making it his personal mission to harass, agitate, and disrupt an opposing team’s schemes…
He is now a reliable threat from three-point range, can speed to the rim against anyone, and has adopted free throw tactics in the vein of Chris Paul and James Harden, being able to manufacture points when possessions bog down. By his constant placement in a lineup with either SGA or CP3, or both, it allows him to pick his spots to either attack the defense or defer to the best match-up or hot hand. Lob passes, which were always an adventure last season, have been pinpoint this year as Schröder has developed excellent chemistry with Nerlens Noel and Steven Adams.
With the summer departures of Westbrook and George, Schröder has stepped up to the plate, embraced the mantle of responsibility, and has performed brilliantly.”