It's funny that there was a time when the Hawks had a problem at the point guard position because now we might have a problem again, but in this situation it might be the exact opposite. One of the things that we discussed at the beginning of the season in our round-table discussion was the role that Jeff Teague would play and how 1st round pick Dennis Schröder would come into play now and possibly the future.
As of now with the emergence of Shelvin Mack, this team for the first time in what feels like forever has a very consistent rotation at the point guard position. The only problem with this great situation is that there is a chance we cannot keep all three of these players and it might be in this team's best interest to move one of the players through trade.
In this article I am going to take a look at the three guards and give a both the reasons of why they should stay and why they should go. With each player I will include their synergy stats thanks to mysynergysports.com
First up we have the Hawks starting point guard Jeff Teague.
The reason to keep him: As many of us hoped and expected, Jeff found a way to improve this year and take on more of a role this season. As the starting guard and most veteran at the age of 25, he has increased his points per game and assists per game this season and, with how he is playing, Jeff might find himself in his first All-Star game. Obviously if we send Jeff away now or by the trade deadline he might get some interest because he is an above average starting point guard.
The reason to trade him: Obviously a team could use Jeff since he is probably one of the fastest guards in the league and has greatly improved in his passing ability. Yes Jeff has played amazing but to me he might be reaching his peak in the next year, something we may not want to get rid of so early. If Teague is moved, I can see those wanting to tank happy because this will be a huge hit to the team. Oh yeah, and looking at the defensive stats he seems to be the worst even though the team as a whole is really struggling in pick and roll situations. So this is more than likely not all on him since the bigs are also not really helping out.
The Verdict: I say keep Jeff for now and if we want to move him the earliest that we should think to do it is this off-season. If Jeff can make his way onto the All-star roster then his stock should skyrocket this off season.
Next let's take a look at Dennis Schröder.
The reason to keep him: Coming out of the draft, we heard that Dennis might be the best player to come out of the draft in 5 years time and he is projected to turn out like Boston's All-Star Rajon Rondo. At the age of 20, he already has the best court vision of the three guards and at his respective age and at the current time might be even faster than Teague. Dennis has all the potential in the world to be a star point guard and who knows how much better he could be than Jeff by the time he reaches the age of 25. Oh yes and according to his synergy stats, he is the best defensive player of the three point guards on this team.
The reason to trade him: Us Hawks fans know how much potential he has and this is more than likely something we can use to our advantage if we go the route to trade him, especially while he has the label "mini Rondo" attached to his name. There is always the chance that he could turn into a bust and his lack of a jumper and turnovers at the moment aren't really helping so again it's best to move him now while he has lots of value.
The verdict: Hold onto him and find a way to give him some playing time. Schröder is young and still has a lot of growing to do, but if you compare him to where he is at compared to Jeff and Shelvin at this point in their career... well I can't wait for the future.
The reason to keep him: Okay first of all Peachtree Hoops readers I want to apologize for my thoughts of Shelvin in the offseason. I remember that I said that I thought he would be a liability on the court at times and that maybe we should have went with Royal Ivey. Well I am happy to say the I was completely wrong about him and he has found his way as a heck of a backup after thriving under Coach Bud. So if we were to keep either Jeff or Dennis, Shelvin would be a great and serviceable backup to either one of them. He may not be as quick as the other two but he is easily the best shooter of the three guards.
The reason to trade him: Before the season I would have not thought much of him, but now I see that he is a very serviceable guard at the backup and a potential starter for some teams. To quote what many people on here have said, he is basically the next Anthony Johnson. Shelvin has been playing like his life depends on it (this is what a non-guaranteed contract will do for you) and has been becoming more and more liked among Hawks fans. He is still young and other teams may think that they could get a starter out of him or rather a very solid player off the bench. If the Hawks were to trade him, the trade deadline would be a good time especially if a team like the Knicks or the Magic their championship year are desperate for a point guard then this season would be a great time to take advantage of this.
The verdict: If we were to move him, which I would be all for, we need to move him by the deadline. This is his only year on a contract and if this keeps up, a team like the Knicks would probably pay him more than we would want to pay him since he could probably move Felton out of the starting lineup. Or who knows, maybe Celtics coach Brad Stevenswould want his guy back to come off the bench behind Rondo. Either way if he continues to improve like he has the past few weeks, I think he could be someone to move come the deadline.
THE WILD CARD
The reason to keep him: Now I did this just for fun in the event that we decide to keep all three of the previously mentioned players. Lou by all means is a SG in a PG body. There are times when Lou will run the point which would make sense if the other players are moved. He is the best of everyone on the team off the dribble and is one of the best in the league in the pick and roll.
The reason to trade him: Earlier this week Chase Thomas asked the question if Lou should be kept long term. Well I hate to admit it but he is the oldest of the guards on the team and he is coming off a knee injury. He also isn't exactly a defensive stopper and somewhat undersized a shooting guard. But along with his negatives, he can score and get to the line which is something that almost every team wants when talking of a player coming off the bench. A team with a strong starting 5 would really want him coming off the bench to do what he can do much like when Jamal Crawford went to the Clippers.
The verdict: I do not see any reason to move him now but we will have a potential log jam on this team if a move is not made. I really see a decision being made about him last of the guards I listed above, but I would not be surprised if his name is mentioned with trades in the future.
Well that's it for my thoughts of the guard situation that we have. It should be noted that there is a chance the defensive rankings could be a little off because the team as a whole has they are 29th in defending points in transition and have really struggled in defending the ball handler in pick and roll situations.
Ferry did a great job of bringing in three point guards and in the future has the option to move one or more of these pieces in the next year or so. The earliest I could see a move being made is at the deadline but I won't expect anything to get done until the next off-season. Anyway below let me know what you guys think of who we should keep/trade and why.