For veteran players a bit past their physical primes, winning 60-plus games and cruising to an Eastern Conference Finals appearance would bring a bit of comfortableness. While younger players also value winning, most of them value something else too: a big role.
Atlanta Hawks point guard Dennis Schroder, entering his third pro season, is slated to receive significant minutes this year behind All-Star guard Jeff Teague. But even though his minutes in the nightly rotation are sure to be plentiful, Schroder has his eyes on a bigger role eventually – a starting one.
“My goal is to start as point guard” Schroder said, according to Sportando citing Sport1 as the original source. “If this doesn’t happen, I will look for other opportunities. The Hawks are a great team, the city is nice and everything is perfect now. Teague? He was an All-Star and he helped me a lot. I must be patient and work hard and eventually I’ll have my opportunities.”
Schroder’s comments shouldn’t surprise anyone. He was a first-round pick who entered the league with high expectations. After an inconsistent rookie campaign, Schroder has emerged as a valuable contributor on a team with legitimate title aspirations. The natural evolution for Schroder as a player will be to seriously challenge Teague for the starting point guard role.
Teague and Schroder are both scheduled to enter free agency after the 2016-17 season. It will mark the first time in Teague’s career that he will be an unrestricted free agent. The Hawks will have leverage in Schroder’s situation, as the guard will be a restricted free agent. In the event Teague bolts for perceived greener pastures, Atlanta would have an in-house insurance policy in Schroder.
The Schroder and Teague storyline will play out over the next two seasons, which is an eternity when it comes to NBA roster building.
The two have a solid relationship and those close to the situation don’t expect Schroder’s desire to become one of the game’s top point guards to have a negative impact in the locker room.
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