The Hawks selected 19 year-old point guard Dennis Schroder from Germany with the 17th pick in the 2013 NBA draft. Schroeder, 6’2” and 170lbs., has been playing professionally in the German Beko League since 2009. During the 2012-13 season, he played in 31 games and averaged 11.9 points, 3.3 assists and 1.0 steal per game. He was named a German league All-Star.
Schroder has made it clear that he wants to leave Germany and play in the NBA next season, but the Hawks retain the ability to stash him in Europe for a year should they choose to do so.
At only 19-years old, Schroeder is viewed by scouts as somewhat of a project. A project with extremely high upside though, as he has already been given the nickname of ‘German Rondo,’ a player he shares many attributes with. Schroder’s extremely long arms and ability to play both ends of the floor are two main sources of comparison with Rondo. The major difference between the two is that Rondo prefers to assist while Schroder is a score-first point guard.
Schroder is praised as a lethal penetrator and excellent ball handler, aggressively attacking the basket with ankle-breaking quickness. Defensively, he is regarded very favorably by pro scouts. He uses hyper speed and quickness with his long arms to badger opposing ball handlers up and down the court.
Schroder’s biggest liabilities stem from maturity issues and needing to put on some extra weight, but he is 19 years old and these things take time. Not to beat the Rondo comparison to death, but Rondo’s primary issues coming into the 2006 draft were also based around his maturity, and to a lesser degree the ability to be a leader. If new Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer can have a similar effect on Schroder as Doc Rivers had on Rondo, these issues may soon become strengths.
Everything really just points to this being a very smart draft pick by the ever-wise Danny Ferry. Schroder beholds the potential to blossom into an electrifying player in the NBA, but on the Hawks’ time. He’s someone who can give Hawks fans all the more reason to look forward to a bright future.
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