ESPN’s Marc Stein reported on Wednesday that the Atlanta Hawks and point guard Dennis Schroder have agreed to a four-year contract extension worth $70 million.
The 23-year-old is set to enter his fourth NBA season and first as Atlanta’s starting point guard. The Hawks traded incumbent starter Jeff Teague to the Indiana Pacers over the summer in a deal that netted Atlanta the 12th overall pick in June’s draft. The Hawks wound up selecting Baylor forward Taurean Prince with the lottery pick.
Schroder appeared in 80 games for the Hawks last season, including six starts, and averaged 11 points, 4.4 assists and 2.6 rebounds in about 20 minutes a night. The team had until next Monday to decide whether or not to extend Schroder’s deal, but evidently felt agreeing to a pact before the start of the season would be a show of good faith in their new No. 1 floor general.
Schroder came into the league as a raw prospect out of Germany that Atlanta selected 17th overall back in 2013. Despite not showing any notable statistical improvement in his third season, the Hawks clearly feel comfortable in projecting improvement in the coming seasons. He often found himself playing in crunch-time situations over Teague last year and the organization seems to trust him with the keys to the franchise. Had the two sides not agreed to a new deal, Schroder would’ve been a restricted free agent next summer. Schroder will earn a modest $2.7 million this season before the big money extension kicks in for the 2017-2018 campaign.
The 6-1 guard has all the physical tools to be an excellent defender, but he has struggled to put it all together as of yet. He has upped his three-point shooting since connecting on just 23 percent of his long-ball tries as a rookie, but there is still plenty of room to improve on his 32.2 percent mark from a season ago.
Schroder and the Hawks kick off their 2016-2017 season on Thursday against the Washington Wizards.