Hawks

When will the Hawks move Dennis Schröder?

Dennis Schröder’s career has been a roller coaster ride in Atlanta. He fascinated fans with his competitive nature, unnatural ability to speed to the basket and of course his patented gold patch in his hair. He even developed a reliable mid-range and three-point jump shot that took his game to the next level, allowing him to become the starting point guard over Jeff Teague and sign a 4-year, $70 million extension with the team. It appeared like the future of the Hawks was going through Schröder, but events over the last year have put Schröder’s standing within the organization in a whole new light.

With new management in position, it seems less and less likely Schröder will be in Atlanta long-term. The 24-year old might have led a lowly Hawks team in scoring last season, but his off the court antics and attitude have not fell in line with a leader on a team going through a complete rebuild.

Last September, Schröder was arrested for assault after an altercation in Atlanta. The victim left the incident with several injuries including a torn ACL. In March, it was released that DeKalb County Assistant Solicitor-General Tommy McNulty suggested that Schroder and the rest of the assailants be charged with a felony because of the severity of the victim’s injury.

To make things even cloudier, there is no inclination that Schröder wants to be a part of a any rebuild. In a May press conference in Germany, Schröder addressed his future with the organization, stating that he would like to be traded and that the Pacers or Bucks would be his preferred destinations. Former Hawks Coach Mike Budenholzer is now the head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks, however, he took that position after these statements came from Schroder. Since the press conference, the Hawks and Schroder have been in contact and the organization has been rumored to be shopping the point guard.

The Hawks were unable to move Schroder prior to the NBA draft, but that did not stop them from trading back and taking the first point guard off the board. The selection of Trae Young is the writing on the wall for Schroder, he will not be with the organization for long. Young is clearly the darling of new general manager Travis Schlenk, and rightfully so, after the new GM traded European phenom Luka Doncic and passed on several other blue chip prospects to take Young. It is now just a matter of “for what” and “when” will Dennis Schroder be sporting another uniform.

Trade talks surrounding Schroder have quieted since the NBA draft, but that does not mean the Hawks have stopped looking, and most recently, the New Orleans Pelicans have shown interest.

The Pelicans lost Rajon Rondo in free agency and have a major hole to fill at the position. Rondo was stellar last year as a playmaker and a distributor for New Orleans. When Schröder was coming into the NBA, many pegged Rondo as his player comparison. There are several similarities, but Schröder has proven to be a much more reliable scorer than Rondo while his defensive and passing skills still trail the one-time NBA champion. Schroder to New Orleans would be a nice fit and his timeline with Anthony Davis matches up much better than Rondo’s.

The problem, as it seems to be with most teams, is Dennis Schroder’s pending legal allegations. It is unlikely Schroder receives any jail time from the incident and might not even receive any punishment from the NBA, but that kind of behavior, along with the rest of his demeanor, does not paint a pretty picture in a general manager’s head. It especially raises a red flag when that player is guaranteed $45 million over the next three seasons. Fifteen million annually used to be thrown at the most average of players due to the cap spike, but NBA teams have become much more shrewd with their money after being burned by bloated contracts handed to underwhelming players.

The value of Schröder may not be very high, but he is still a tradable asset. There is some NBA team out there that will be willing to give Schröder a shot because of the off chance that he can continue to develop into an All-Star caliber point guard. The problem will be how much of a discount will Atlanta be willing to take.

Will they give him up without receiving a first-round pick in return? Will they eat money? The market is cold, but the Hawks will eventually find a deal to ship Schröder elsewhere, and my money is on that happening before the start of the season. This is Trae Young’s team, at least for the near future, and trading Dennis Schröder is the next step in the process.

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