The "controversy" surrounding Dennis Schröder and his desire to be a starting point guard in the NBA isn't new. Schröder's issued some preseason comments about that issue that sparked a firestorm, and while the issue did not boil over during the 2015-2016 regular season, here we are again.
In exit interviews on Monday, Schröder addressed the assembled media and issued the quote that everyone is holding on to in advance of the off-season:
"In the future, I want to be a starting point guard. Everybody knows it."
On the surface, this could be deemed as controversial and, predictably, those are the 14 words that the outside world is focused on right now. However, Schröder wasn't done speaking and he followed those words with some immediate context:
"But in the situation I was this year, I was fine with it. I played my minutes, and I just tried to get better. When the coaching staff and everybody decides I get the team, I'm going to be ready for it."
Significantly less controversial, right?
At any rate, Dennis Schröder should have the desire to start at his position, and at 22 years old after three seasons in the league, it would be a problem if he did not seek that role. The talented German point guard is widely known for his borderline obscene level of confidence, and while he certainly did not shy away from the question about his personal future with the organization, the above statement does not come across as anything approaching a "message to the organization" or even a shot at incumbent point guard Jeff Teague.
The point guard situation will be discussed ad nauseum in the coming days, but the Atlanta Hawks absolutely have a decision to make in the next 12 months. Both Teague and Schröder will hit free agency after the 2016-2017 season, and while it is theoretically possible that both players could remain in Atlanta, that scenario seems considerably unlikely.
Schröder's age (five years younger than Teague) and contract status (restricted free agent vs. unrestricted in Teague's case) are the obvious reasons that the Hawks could lean in his direction. Furthermore, there have always been off-the-radar rumblings that Atlanta favors Schröder's fiery personality over the laid back approach from Teague, and while we know what Teague is in the NBA as a mid-tier starting point guard, the athletic upside of the younger player looks to be higher in a perfect world.
The decision will, eventually, be made and one of these two point guards won't be in Atlanta. Until then, though, we shouldn't be taken aback by a 22-year-old, uber-confident professional athlete professing his desire to take the floor at the beginning of an NBA game, and Dennis Schröder will likely get his wish, either with the Hawks or elsewhere.