HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Three years into his NBA career and one thing is clear, Dennis Schroder has arrived.
An exciting change-of-pace backup to All-Star Jeff Teague with the Atlanta Hawks, Schroder takes over for Teague now on a revamped Hawks team that traded Teague and lost All-Star center Al Horford to Boston in free agency. The Hawks new look does include hometown big man Dwight Howard, once the most dominant big man in the league.
Ask any fan or pundit and they’ll likely debate the biggest risk, Schroder moving into a starting role or the Hawks betting that Howard still has dominant big man juice in his body.
But know this, Schroder is convinced he’s ready for prime time. He’s been clear about his ambitions from the moment he made the transition from his native Germany to the NBA
Hawks coach and team president Mike Budenholzer is also a believer. He’s the one who signed off on the trading Teague to Indiana and opening up the space for Schroder to ascend to the starting job (Bud also wisely signed veteran Jarrett Jack this summer to serve as Schroder’s backup).
The results of these changes will determine just how wise a move it was to make these moves now. Will the Hawks remain among the Eastern Conference playoff elite? Will Schroder and Howard energize a unit that has done nothing but roll on Budenholzer’s watch?
We dig deep with Schroder on that and much more on Episode 242 of The Hang Time Podcast.
As always, we welcome your feedback. You can follow the entire crew, including the Hang Time Podcast, co-hosts Sekou Smith of NBA.com, Lang Whitaker of NBA.com’s All-Ball Blog and renaissance man Rick Fox of NBA TV, as well as our new super producer Gregg (just like Popovich) Waigand.