Dennis Schroder, Atlanta Hawks

  • Position: Point Guard
  • Age: 23 (09/15/1993)
  • Height, Weight: 6’1″ , 172 pounds
  • Career Slash Line: .419/.324/.795
  • Career Averages: 18.3 MPG, 8.9 PPG, 3.7 APG, 2.1 RPG, 0.7 SPG

Dennis Schroder will finally get his shot as the starting point guard in Atlanta after the Hawks trade of incumbent Jeff Teague. Both players will be free agents in 2017 (Schroder is restricted) and deciding which to keep was a no brainer.

The 23-year-old hasn’t averaged more than 20 minutes per game in his three seasons. Let’s look at why he should be the favorite for the 2016-17 Most Improved Player Award.

For starters, last season Atlanta was a championship contender with their backup point guard on the court and a lottery team without him. His +5.5 net rating per 100 possessions (per Basketball-Reference) was perfect evidence; the Hawks were +6.9 points when he played and just +1.4 points when he sits (per 100).

Schroder still needs to work on his shot selection and finishing at the rim. Like a lot of youngsters, he was consistently tempted into the three-point shot. Despite shooting 32.2% from long range in 2015-16, he took 3.0 shots per game from outside.

The fourth-year man from Germany makes things harder on himself by not attempting more field goals from mid-range, where he’s thrived. Per Basketball-Reference, Schroder shot 41.5% on two-point attempts longer than 16 ft.

But the biggest flaw in the point guard’s game is still his struggle finishing at the rim. Last season, Schroder converted on only 51.5% of his attempts in the restricted area (per For context, the league average was 60%.

Schroder is an aggressive point guard who likes to get to the basket; he averaged 6.8 drives and 4.5 points on those drives last season to make up for over 40% of his scoring average.

With some improvement in that area, Schroder could take his game to the next level. That’s what the Hawks are banking after shipping off Jeff Teague.

After three seasons of speculation, Atlanta is going with Dennis Schroder as their starter. Time to see what he’s got.

I'm ESNY's Executive Editor for I cover the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets. Email: Chip Murphy covers the NBA for Elite Sports NY. You can find him on Twitter @ChipperMurphy.