With last season’s starter Jeff Teague traded to the Pacers, point guard Dennis Schroder has big shoes to fill. The front office has full confidence in the young player, but his performance will be closely scrutinized since his play thus far has been inconsistent and his brash attitude has occasionally rubbed opponents and teammates the wrong way, Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes. “Dennis (Schroder) has an incredible talent,” teammate Thabo Sefolosha told Vivlamore “He’s going to be great. He’s going to be the point guard. It’s going to be tough. I think we are all going to help him. I think it’s a tough position to be so young and to have so much on your shoulders. I think it’s going to be on all of us to help him.”
The Hawks will also have a tough decision to make involving Schroder, with him eligible for a rookie contract extension, Vivlamore adds. Atlanta could wait to see how he performs in 2016/17 and issue Schroder a qualifying offer next summer, which will likely be around $4.5MM if he maintains his starter criteria. making him a restricted free agent, the scribe adds. The deadline to agree to an extension is October 31st, and if the team does decide to float Schroder an offer, it would likely be close to that deadline, Vivlamore opines.
Here’s more out of the Eastern Conference:
- Malcolm Lee, who last appeared in the NBA during the 2014/15 season when he played in one game for the Sixers, has signed with the Turkish club Trabzonspor, Emiliano Carchia of Sportando reports (via Twitter). The 26-year-old guard spent last season playing in Puerto Rico for Brujos de Guayama, appearing in 19 games and averaging 13.4 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.4 assists.
- After adding a number of veterans this offseason, the Magic aren’t necessarily more talented than they were a season ago, but their current roster should be smarter and better defensively, Shaun Powell of NBA.com writes in his season preview of Orlando. The scribe does question the team’s logic in trading away Tobias Harris and adding Jeff Green for roughly the same salary, even if Green’s deal is only for one season.
- Though the loss of Josh Richardson to start the season is a blow to the Heat‘s continuity, it does open the door for Tyler Johnson or Dion Waiters to step up and seize the starting shooting guard spot, Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel opines in response to a reader query. The scribe also notes that it also provides Briante Weber to show that he can be a viable rotation option for the team.