Friday, July 20, 2018

Dennis Schröder Trade Breakdown

Dennis Schröder has been traded to Oklahoma City. By now you probably have seen the other stories spelling out the details of the three-team trade that made that happen. So let us take a look at the key aspects of the deal and give out our penny on this matter with a summary at the end.

1. Dennis Schröder

It was time, as we had posted a few months back.

Dennis...ah Dennis, we had reasonable expectations from you. Sure, we all here at THHB HQ wanted Giannis to drop just a little further to grab him instead, but you were seen as a potential lottery pick that slipped and the Hawks nabbed you as a potential replacement for the steady and slightly above average Jeff Teague.

Three seasons ago, we argued that the time had come to see if Schröder could take the Hawks further than Teague and a year later, the Hawks obliged.

Dennis showed the elite skill of getting past his man and a solid ability to facilitate, but his defense, at times lagged, at worst times was abysmal, and never really seemed to improve, especially as the losses piled up.

His shooting was spotty and teams wagered regularly that they could be better off letting Dennis hoist up threes, rather than letting him beat them with the one skill in the bag that was special. His conversion rate at the basket was not good, even as his drives to the basket were top five in the league. This, along with the below average long range shooting, prevented his offensive efficiency from being much more than slightly above average while his advanced metrics showed him capable from a facilitation standpoint.

More damning than the okay offense overall and the oy vey defense was his lack of leadership from the point guard position. Because of the emotional, sometimes impetuous play of Schröder, the was no rallying point around Dennis. There was never any passion that converted itself to a spurring on of his teammates, an ability to take over a game by will.

All of that seems intangible and certainly subjective, and that is accepted, but there was never a sense from here that Dennis was pushing this team further, and that is an essential piece of who your point guard (or lead ballhandler) is, in this opinion. Dennis did not prove that while here, and it was why it was time to part ways.

Now that he is a backup PG in OKC and likely sometimes backcourt mate with Russell Westbrook, we can see a more efficient Dennis, perhaps. Sort of like when a starting pitcher in baseball moves to the bullpen and is able to crank up the velocity for the shorter stints, Dennis may be able to show more effort on both ends of the court, without the need to pace for 30-32 minutes and thirtysomething percent raw usage.

Either way, with Trae Young the new face o' the franchise and Jeremy Lin brought in to score with Trae, Dennis' days were numbered and the thought of him eating any minutes in Atlanta this season looked more out of place than a Sloppy Joe in the mitts of the Queen of England.

2. Carmelo Anthony

For years, Atlanta fans fantasized about a star like Carmelo coming to the Hawks, or even Carmelo himself. It didn't matter that he occasionally Hell, No'd the thought publicly. Alas.

Now, however, not only is he not a star anymore, such that the Thunder desperately looked to cast him out after a season that saw OKC look significantly better when he was not on the court, but he still won't play for Atlanta, this becoming another member of the Terrell Brandon All-Stars. A.K.A. Players traded to the Hawks but are cut loose without even breaching the doors of Philips Arena. He joins Brandon, Gary Payton, Antawn Jamison and last year's edition of Jamal Crawford in this elite club.

3. The 2022 first round pick

It is lottery protected, and only for that season, afterwards it turns into two second round picks, which probably would be at least one high one considering the Thunder would have to be in the lottery to not get the first. Two second round picks for the Hawks, however, is dubious in value, considering we just saw one of the deepest drafts and the Hawks cast off the #34 overall pick for a pair of future seconds from the Hornets, which don't have a great shot at being much better than the one they gave away, but, anyway, so much digression.

The fact is that the Hawks got a future first, which could easily be used as a sweetener in future trades. Add the fact that the 2022 draft might be the fabled Double Draft, where the last of the one and dones and the first of the high school eligible players fill out the slots, and this is a valuable chip to trade, indeed.

And, for context, do not forget that it could very well EASILY have been the Hawks parting with a future first round asset to divest themselves of a highly paid average starting PG with three years left on a deal after acquiring two more PG this offseason. To get one in return, regardless of the future maturation of the pick is almost magic.

4. Mike Muscala

THHB hates to see Muskie go, but to be fair, he has matured nicely and likely now is a luxury item to a rebuilding team like Atlanta. Muscala is a great fit as a rotational big on a playoff team like Philadelphia. Additionally, from the Hawks perspective, his maturation and production value was starting to get costly, so it was a good time to move him.

Muscala, like Dennis, came in the Danny Ferry 2013 draft, and was a rare second round pick that paid solid dividends for the Hawks. He will be missed, but we will always have the memory of the Moose Goggles. Epic.

5. Justin Anderson 

Anderson, a former first round pick of the Mavericks, is still on his rookie deal and provides Lloyd Pierce with a familiar face and a willing defender for Pierce's rotations. He is the definition of a replacement value player right now, but is only 24, and is inexpensive as an inclusion in this deal. He will eat rotation minutes providing wingplay and the aforementioned defense and if he improves at all with his shooting, that is a cherry on a sundae.


The Hawks had made their choice to trade Dennis Schröder and the time was right. His counting stats were never going to be higher, his youth and skill made him desirable to a playoff team that lacked a plus backup PG. And the Hawks had drafted Trae Young and acquired Jeremy Lin, so the days were numbered.

Instead of getting snookered in a deal just to get Dennis off the team, they leveraged their well thought out plan of having cap space to facilitate deals such as this one, patiently waited until there was a situation like this one where few teams were left to deal with, and milked a future draft asset and a cheap, young, competent wing as a plunder, instead of being plundered.

Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the Comments Area or hit @JasonWalkerNBA up on Twitter to make your opinion known.


Unknown said...

Hawks acquired a ton of picks since draft night... worst
7 second rounders best
2 first rounders
3 second rounders
plus a pick swap

Isaia Cordinier
Dennis Schroder
Mike Muscala
#34 2019
and a top 55 protected pick

A clean CAP sheet moving forward

Jason Walker said...

Excellent breakdown here -- Used to be free agency talk around cap space, but the Hawks have long since taken advantage to acquire future draft assets, which is a much smarter approach for the franchise.