Happy Monday! It’s time to crank up the 2013-2014 Hawks player profiles, and we’ve got a good one for you today. If you missed it, check out our last installment when we broke down Gustavo Ayon. Without further ado, let’s move on to Dennis Schröder.
Normally, being selected outside of the lottery in the NBA Draft doesn’t bring high expectations, but Schröder has changed that in a very small amount of time. The 6-foot-1, extremely thin (listed at 168 pounds) point guard showed flashes of brilliance in Summer League, and that hasn’t changed during training camp and the preseason.
Schröder is a high-end athlete with impressive quickness, and his length (wingspan especially) has drawn comparisons to Rajon Rondo. We don’t have a ton of statistical data on the 20-year-old from Germany, but we don’t need it to evaluate him as an impressive passer and shot creator. Again, it’s only been a small amount of time, but Schröder has played with an intensity that many players don’t possess, and with that combined with his length and athleticism, he could also quickly turn into a high-impact defensive player.
Of course, there are downsides for any player, and he’s got some. At this point, he’s way too skinny to last through an entire NBA season unscathed, and bigger, stronger point guards could push him around at will. In addition, his shot probably needs some work, and his slow release is troubling for a player as small as he is. Fortunately, he’s incredibly young, and if these are the only “issues” for a 20-year-old point guard prospect, we’re in great shape.
Role on the Roster
In the same vein with discussing his relatively “raw” tools, Schröder is in a unique situation. Jeff Teague was signed to a big, 4-year contract in the off-season, and with that, there is no expectation for Schröder as the point guard of consequence for this season.
Schröder is the backup point guard at this stage, with little competition from Shelvin Mack or Royal Ivey (if he beats out Mack to make the team), and that brings automatic minutes. It remains to be seen if Mike Budenholzer would be willing to deploy Schröder and Teague together (I would at least try it), but even if he doesn’t, the rookie point guard will be playing 15 minutes or so per night in the interim.
One thing to watch is the recovery timetable of Lou Williams in the wake of his ACL tear. In the past, Williams has been used as a point guard at times, but with a real, live NBA player in Schröder on the horizon, it’s possible that “Lou Will” could be more of a pure shooting guard with the rookie taking those backup PG minutes.
For me, Schröder will play in every game that he’s able to play in, and he’ll be effective in doing so. A lot of his future plans will be as a result of Teague’s performance (which comes with the territory), but I believe that Schröder has the highest upside of any non-lottery player in last year’s draft, and he could be an impact player in the short term.
Stay tuned for the next installment, and be sure to check out all of our Hawks coverage!