After signing a mid-level $5.9 million taxpayer exception with the Boston Celtics, Dennis Schroder served as a terrific sixth man playing behind Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown. With Schroder on a one-year deal only and the Celtics unlikely to re-sign him in the offseason, president of basketball operations Brad Stevens decided to ship him to welcome a familiar face in the organization in Daniel Theis.

Theis has at least two more seasons in his current deal, with the third year being a team option for the Celtics. His salary per year does not exceed over $10 million, which still gives Boston flexibility to move him if he does not work out in his return. Theis will play behind Robert Williams III and Al Horford as Celtics coach Ime Udoka relies on a ton of defense, length, and versatility.

Schroder, Enes Freedom, and Bruno Fernando were shipped to the Houston Rockets, with all of them on expiring deals. Freedom has already been waived by the Rockets, and it seems Schroder and Fernando will not be in Houston for the long term as well. With Kevin Porter Jr., Jalen Green, and Eric Gordon in the backcourt, Schroder will likely not get a ton of playing time.

Celtics trade grade: B

The Celtics receive a B grade for their acquisition of Theis. Size and versatility have been the utmost priorities of Udoka in his system, so adding one more big man in their rotation was a brilliant move. With Williams more of a shot-blocker and rim protector, Theis gives trouble to slower big men similar to how he exploited the weakness of Marc Gasol in their series with the Toronto Raptors in the 2020 NBA Playoffs. By giving away three players for a reliable big man, this move gives Boston five open roster slots, paving the way for more spots in the buyout market or convert some of their two-way players to standard NBA contracts.

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Theis will now just be the third or fourth priority in the big man rotation of Udoka, compared to his starting five spot in his first stint with the Beantown Boys. His role would be vastly different compared to when Stevens was still the coach. Nevertheless, Theis will play valuable minutes for the Celtics in the second half of the season.

Rockets trade grade: D+

It may seem more ideal for Schroder to test the buyout market and possibly play for a win-now squad. Fernando, meanwhile, will just be a third-string big man behind Christian Wood and Alperen Sengun. For the Rockets, the deal was more of a move to clear cap space and get Theis out of their books.

The Rockets failed to receive any young asset or even a second round draft pick, at the very least, as they just absorbed three players from the Celtics. It was more of a band-aid solution for the Rockets because it was their mistake to sign Theis to a long-term deal in the offseason, to begin with, even if they already had Wood and Sengun on their roster.

Schroder could mentor Porter and Green, and reprise his role as a spark plug off the bench like he did a few years back with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Still, the Rockets wouldn’t be contending too well in the second half of the season.