Really pleased with the response to our first Mailbag request. If you didn't get your question in this week we'll be doing another round soon.
Email Question from Steve:
Ferry acolytes preach patience and say we should 'trust the plan'. What is the plan?
A) Be competitive while collecting assets and waiting for the right time to cash them in for a star, i.e. Rockets.
B) Be competitive while building through draft and player development, i.e. Spurs.
C) Try to hit a home run in free agency. And make a run at someone like Lance Stephenson.
D) Some combination of the above.
That is a great question and I think option D is clearly the correct answer. Atlanta chose not to bottom out this season when they signed Paul Millsap and DeMarre Carroll while also bringing back Jeff Teague and Kyle Korver. It's a safe bet that had Al Horford remained healthy the team would likely be looking at a similar record as last season.
The goal is to acquire as many assets as possible while remaining flexible to be in position to make a move should the opportunity arrive. Player development also plays a huge part in this and the Hawks have invested heavily. Their entire coaching staff has a strong background in developing players and the improvements made by Mike Scott are a great example. If you get the assets, you must develop them.
Atlanta courted Dwight Howard during free agency but wasn't able to land him. They did, however, sign two of the best values of the summer in Millsap and Carroll. I expect Ferry and the Hawks to be active again this summer to try and add pieces that fit their philosophy while maintaining financial flexibility going forward. In other words, they will be looking for the best value.
@peachtreehoops Mailblog question: Is Dennis Schroeder still the future at PG for Atlanta or is Teague a better option going forward?— Sports Atlanta (@ATLGT) February 17, 2014
At this point I think Dennis Schröder is still very much the future at point guard for the Atlanta Hawks despite Jeff Teague's presence. Teague is under contract for three more seasons at $8 million which isn't bad for a starting point guard. The hope is that Teague could continue to elevate his game while Schröder continued to develop as a reserve. That would give the Hawks the option of dealing Teague when Schröder is ready for a bigger role.
The plan hasn't exactly progressed as fast as we anticipated given that Schröder was replaced in the rotation by Shelvin Mack. However, the Hawks have a lot of faith in their player development model and Schröder has looked much better of late in the limited opportunities he has seen.
So to answer your question, no I don't think it's time to close the book on Dennis being the team's point guard of the future. Teague is the better option right now but his contract is such that he can be moved later on once Schröder is ready.
Jeremy in Augusta writes:
What happened to the Peachtree Hoops Hangouts and is there any plan for a regular podcast in the future?
We haven't done a hangout on the site since the summer and it is definitely something that we are interested in bringing back as a regular event. Personally I like the hangouts format and it would be great to turn that into a podcast that could be downloaded as video or audio.