Update: Marc Stein of ESPN:
That’s an even better deal for the Hawks.
The Hawks traded a former All-Star in his prime (Jeff Teague). They waived two experienced backups (Jarrett Jack and Will Bynum), leaving only rookie Malcolm in Delaney in reserve.
Atlanta is putting all its point guard eggs in Dennis Schroder‘s basket – not just as the starter on a team that expects to make the playoffs, but a long-term building block.
Marc Stein of ESPN:
Paying Schroder $17.5 million per year seems fair, because he could wind up drastically underpaid or drastically overpaid.
Schroder drives into the lane with abandon and usually produces quality outcomes as a result. He possesses impressive tools and is already beginning to utilize them, including in several clutch situations.
But he must make better decisions with the ball, finish better at the rim and shoot better from outside for Atlanta’s bet to pay off. It’s also help if he becomes more than just an occasionally pesky defender.
Just 23, time is on his side.
If Schroder develops into a quality starting point guard, he’ll be a bargain. The Hawks will have done well to lock him up before he proved his ability, and their other moves indicate they believe in him making this step.
But if a larger role just exposes Schroder’s flaws, this could backfire. For all the justifiable reasons to have faith in Schroder’s ascension, it’s important to remember he’s not there yet.
This is a relative high-variance bet by Atlanta, which I like in principle. Teams are generally too conservative with rookie-scale contract extensions.
If Schroder doesn’t break out as they hope, the Hawks will have problems regardless of whether or not they extend him. It’s not as if handling him restricted free agency would be a walk in the park.
Now, if Schroder lives up to the hype in Atlanta, the Hawks’ return on investment will be even greater.