Hawks fans likely saw some quotes Wednesday that left their stomachs churning a little bit. In an interview with Bild, Dennis Schroder was quoted as saying, “My goal is the starting spot,” and added that, “If it does not go forward next season, you have to talk to people and look for other opportunities.”
Schroder’s rookie contract runs through next season, when he will become a restricted free agent. This means the Hawks will have a chance to match any offer a team extends to the young German point guard. While the Hawks hold the leverage, an unhappy Schroder will not bode well for team chemistry.
Jeff Teague’s bargain bin contract of $8 million per year also runs through next season.
It’s a smart move for any younger player to test the market and see how much their services can garner. However, making such a bold statement after a couple of seasons does not look good on his part. While Schroder may very well be the starter by the end of next season, it’s clear that Jeff Teague is the better and more polished player as of now. At the same time, Schroder is younger and has a ton of potential, so the team has a dilemma on its hands.
There’s no need to fret. Given the salary cap in the NBA, it was highly unlikely the team was going to be able to re-sign both players when they hit free agency. Both players are in for a big raise, but the difference is Schroder’s fate is controlled by the Hawks.
The next two seasons may be a tryout of sorts for the two point guards. Rather than losing a player in free agency, the team may look to move Teague before his contract expires if they feel Schroder is ready to start. Teague is a valuable asset, and suitors would line up fast. Long story short, it’s an impending dilemma on the shoulders of the front office. Right now, this team is looking to win a championship. While they are in win-now mode, they still have to keep an eye on the future, and especially this scenario.