It is a (very) busy week for the Atlanta Hawks. On Monday, Lloyd Pierce was introduced as the franchise’s next head coach and, on Tuesday evening, Travis Schlenk and company will be holding their breath as the 2018 NBA Draft Lottery takes place in Chicago. However, an interesting subplot has reportedly emerged and it centers on point guard Dennis Schröder.
The 24-year-old took part in a press conference for the German Basketball Federation on Monday and his (translated) comments made some waves. First, Schroder was quoted as saying that he has to “look individually at what’s the best for (him)” and he expressed plans for a sit-down (with Schlenk and owner Tony Ressler) back in Atlanta that would include his agent.
Speaking in Germany at a German Basketball Federation DBB press conference, Dennis Schröder about the current situation with the Atlanta Hawks pic.twitter.com/n8w3J3fg9t— David Hein (@heinnews) May 14, 2018
This is at least slightly strange, given that Schröder is set to enter the second year of a four-year contract that guarantees him more than $15 million annually. However, there was additional context in play, including the stated desire to win and avoid being “second to last in the Eastern Conference,” prompting the desire for a meeting.
Dennis Schröder said he wants to stay in Atlanta if it looks like things are going in the right direction. But he said he wants to compete while in his prime: pic.twitter.com/3SOokRq2LV— David Hein (@heinnews) May 14, 2018
Lastly, the most bizarre portion of the reported press conference took place with direct reference to two NBA teams in the Indiana Pacers and Milwaukee Bucks.
It has to be noted that, personally, I do not speak German and no one from the Peachtree Hoops team can individually confirm these references. However, David Hein is a respected figure in the sport internationally and, in addition, there is full video of the press availability for reference (including the appearance of “Indiana” and “Milwaukee” as clear audio points), if and when we have readers that are fluent in German.
It is important to note, once again, that Schroder is under contract for the next three seasons (in addition to pending legal trouble) and, as a result, doesn’t have a tremendous amount of leverage. With that said, Schlenk did not draft (or choose to extend) Schroder, leaving some uncertainty as to whether the general manager would like to build his roster around the still-young point guard.
It remains to be seen as to the next step in the relationship between player and team but Schroder seemingly wants a sit-down and it appears as if he has at least considered at least two potential trade destinations if and when that conversation does not go according to plan.