Dennis Schröder is widely seen as the best player on the Atlanta Hawks roster. As a result, he is the obvious candidate to represent the team on various top-100 lists and the good folks of Sports Illustrated published their rankings on Monday.
Schröder was the only member of the Hawks to make the cut but he comes in at No. 76 overall. Rob Mahoney of SI had this to say:
It’s reasonable to wonder, however, just how much further Schröder (17.9 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 6.3 APG) can go within this sort of role. His credentials off the dribble speak for themselves; only Isaiah Thomas averaged more drives to the basket, per NBA.com, and yet Schröder still converted 50.4% of his shots off those drives. What’s off is his sense of timing.
Schröder is a reasonably effective playmaker who tends to irk his teammates by when he chooses to pass and when he does not. Lobs are sometimes thrown a beat too late. Shooters who were open just a moment previously find themselves covered once Schröder finally decides to send the ball their way. Schröder just isn’t a natural playmaker. Passing is a part of his game born of expectation rather than instinct. Other players have forged fine careers playing that way, though it does curb Schröder’s ability to actually lift an offense with his play.
In addition, Mahoney does indicate that Schröder was able to “pull off” the achievement of transitioning from a role as an ace reserve into a starting role “without missing a beat” and that is encouraging. At the same time, the concerns with his playmaking are real and that is an area of development that will be very interesting to monitor this season, especially with (presumably) more space in which to operate.
The SI.com list includes only the players ranked between No. 100 and No. 51 at this point but Schröder ranks ahead of point guards like Brooklyn’s D’Angelo Russell, Orlando’s Elfrid Payton, San Antonio’s Patty Mills, the Clippers’ Patrick Beverley and Detroit’s Reggie Jackson. On the flip side, Schröder trails players like George Hill, Jrue Holiday, Greg Monroe, Cody Zeller and now-former teammate Dwight Howard.
Many lists will be rolling out over the next few weeks and it is a safe bet to think that Schröder will be included in most, if not all, of them. Stay tuned.