With two selections in the middle of the 2013 NBA Draft, the Atlanta Hawks were in prime position to add some quality talent to a roster that they have spent this off-season overhauling. General manager Danny Ferry and the Hawks settled on two foreign players in Lucas Nogueira and Dennis Schroeder.
Both players made their debuts for the Hawks in Las Vegas for NBA Summer League and both looked quite promising. Though Nogueira still is a raw talent that needs to adjust to the NBA and needs to put on more muscle, there’s obviously a lot of potential with him, especially on the defensive end. However, it was Schroeder who left everyone raving after his performance in Vegas.
In five games as the Hawks starting point guard at Summer League, he averaged 10.8 points, 5.6 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.8 boards per game in 31.6 minutes per game. His shooting percentages were just 34 percent from the field and 29.2 percent from three-point range, but that was somewhat expected considering his shooting was the weakness many people pointed coming into the draft.
Though his numbers were serviceable, there were two parts of Schroeder’s game that really left people impressed and optimistic about his future in the league. The first thing that everyone noticed was the defensive pressure that he was able to apply on a regular basis. His defense on opponents’ primary ball-handlers really caused issues and helped the Hawks’ overall team defense.
The biggest thing that Schroeder showed in Vegas, though, was his ability to lead a team on both ends of the floor. He was a vocal leader and took command of the offense and defense and everyone on the floor trusted how he was leading them. He also seemed to develop an instant rapport with his teammates. Those are impressive skills in themselves, but considering that Schroeder is just 19 years old, it’s actually quite remarkable to see how mature he is while on the floor.
Schroeder isn’t going to be thrust into a leadership role anytime soon with Jeff Teague re-signing to a four-year deal with the Hawks, which will allow Schroeder to get acclimated to the NBA game in his rookie season. All signs point to him being a solid backup in the league right away, though. If you’re smart, you’ll go ahead and hitch yourself to the Dennis Schroeder bandwagon right now, because it’s going to fill up quickly once he gets going.