While a young prospect’s stock is rising, a current player on the Hawks may be counting his days.
“In the future, I want to be a starting point guard.”
That’s what Dennis Schroder said at the end of the 2016 season. Jeff Teague was still on the team at the time, but there had been rumors that they may be thinking about trading him elsewhere. It was time for a roster change since that team’s current roster couldn’t achieve the magic they had in 2015.
Schroder was forcing Bud’s hand, and eventually, Teague was traded to the Indiana Pacers. It was time for Dennis to be the starting point guard. At that time it seemed like not only was Dennis given the starting job, but the key to the Hawks for years to come.
This left many people wondering if this was a good move. Dennis had always been a good backup, but could he be even better as a starter?
For these past 2 years, you can say that this question still stands.
On the court, we all know Dennis can put up points. But who can’t put up points when you have the ball in your hand all the time? He’s had the most usage on the team, even when Paul Millsap was here. His shooting has improved, but there are still some nights where he can get in a slump. On defense, it seems like he doesn’t care at times. When he first came into the league people praised him for his defense. Now he’s being criticized. And he’s getting benched late in games for it. His big drop in defending can come with him having to carry so much of a load on offense, but that can’t be an excuse for a supposed “leader” on a team.
We never give James Harden a pass when he doesn’t play defense. When Carmelo was on the Knicks, we never gave him a pass on defense, even though he would put up 30 in the game. If Dennis wants to be a leader, he must be treated like one.
Dennis has also had some off-court problems that make you question his maturity. He was suspended for a game after not returning to the team on time because of a visa problem. Earlier this season he was arrested for misdemeanor battery charges. Correct me if I’m wrong, but a leader on your team isn’t supposed to be having these kinds of problems. We’ve been waiting for Dennis to mature for some time, and grow on and off the court. It seems like we may be waiting for a while now. The organization may be tired of it, and they could be looking for other options.
Around 850 miles (yes this is accurate) there is a college point guard who is dominating, and getting alot of recognition from NBA scouts. Oklahoma Sooner guard Trae Young has climbed in the mock drafts in the past few weeks. He’s now being noticed as the best point guard in the upcoming draft. With a deadly 3 point stroke and a great floor general, there will be many teams looking to draft him. Maybe even the Hawks.
Young already looks better offensively than Schroder, and he’s also averaging 10.1 assists. The Hawks have to seriously be looking at him. They don’t need someone that can just score at a high rate, but someone that can lead a team as well. Young can bring that.
So far we’ve talked about how the Hawks may draft DeAndre Ayton, Luka Doncic, or Marvin Bagley. But what if the Hawks could get one of those prospects AND Trae Young? That would most likely mean that Dennis would be traded (which would not be a surprise). That also means a team out there is willing to make Schroder their new point guard. Sounds crazy right?
Nothing is set in stone yet. Dennis still has time to turn his season around right now. The Hawks may want to wait until his contract has expired to get rid of him. All of what I’m talking could be pointless. All I’m saying is the thought of Trae Young in a Hawks jersey should excite the fans.
Malik Brown | @_MalikATL